Florida Construction Lien Law is codified in Title XL, Chapter 713 of Florida Statutes. Under these laws a “lienor” has a right to enforce, against residential real property, claims for unpaid amounts due to them. The amount due had to arise from the provision of labor, services or materials resulting in the improvement of the property. These claims are known as Construction Liens. The lienor potentially has the right to enforce a claim of lien even if the homeowner has paid the prime contractor in full.
Enforcing a claim of lien means that your home can be foreclosed upon and sold on the courthouse steps in order to satisfy that claim! Anyone receiving a Claim of Lien should take it very seriously - don't do anything else, don't read any more of this page, don't get up to get a cup of coffee, don't answer the phone if it rings but go straight to our web page titled Claim of Lien to learn more - then immediately call an attorney with knowledge of Florida construction law.
Lienors are contractors, subcontractors, sub-subcontractors, laborers and material suppliers who have contributed to the improvement of real property. All lienors, whether they have a direct contract with the owner, or they have a contractual relationship only with a contractor or subcontractor or sub-subcontractor, potentially have the right to enforce a claim of lien if they are unpaid.
Lienors must conform to the provisions and procedures detailed in the Construction Lien Law in order to secure their right to claim a lien.
Lienors can force foreclosure and sale of real property on the courthouse steps in order to enforce a claim of lien.
Owners can limit their exposure to claims of lien to the contract amount, as adjusted, by conforming to the provisions and procedures detailed in the statutes and by making proper payments, as outlined in the law. Should an owner not follow the procedures detailed in the Construction Lien Law they risk the possibility of having to pay more than their contracted amount, more than they bargained for, in order to satisfy claims of unpaid lienors.
Most states limit the liability of homeowners to the unpaid balance due on the contract; Florida is different from most states in that it expands the owner’s liability and responsibility to protect the rights of nonprivity lienors to be paid. Nonprivity lienors are those that do not have a direct contract with the owner. Competing legal concepts of contract, private property rights and unjust enrichment have been decided in favor of lienors in Florida. The rationale may be that the owner possess the money and is therefore in the best position to make certain that workers or suppliers who contribute to the improvement of their property get paid. Also, it is the owner who has reaped the benefit of the improved property and in return must satisfy the role of guarantor of payment to those persons who have enriched their property.
Like it or not, fair or not, that is the law in the state of Florida, and it behooves a property owner to be aware of and to conform to the requirements of the Construction Lien Law in order to prevent the possibility of paying more than once for some aspects of their construction project.
If you think that you might have an immediate legal issue concerning a construction project in Florida, and you don't know an attorney skilled in construction law, visit our Legal Help page and you can begin to locate a qualified attorney near you. Any attorney that we recommend will be an active member of the Florida Bar with a proven competency in construction lien law and will offer you some measure of a free initial consultation.
Each year many thousands of homeowners in Florida bump into legal issues relating to residential construction or renovation. You owe it to yourself, and to those that depend upon you, to know all that you can about Florida Construction Lien Law in order to protect your home from lien and potential foreclosure. LienDefense was established to help Florida Homeowners learn about, understand and to comply with Construction Lien Law. Compliance with the law can save you from paying more than you contracted for, can help you to defend against construction liens being placed upon your property.
If you want to know more about how the Florida Construction Law might affect you, and how LienDefense might be of help to you, please click to The Problems page of our website, or jump right into our learning program at the Welcome page.
Florida's Lien Law
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