Yesterday, someone in Treasure Coast, Florida submitted a question about mechanics liens to the “General Plumbing Discussion” forum at PlumbingZone.com. The post, titled “Mechanic’s Lien in Florida” boils down to this question: “How long do I have to wait before I can place a mechanics lien on the property?”
There are two components to this question, and we’ll address each.
Is There A Required Waiting Period Before Filing A Mechanic’s Lien?
Short answer: No.
Part of this forum participant’s question suggests confusion over whether there is a prescribed amount of time after providing work that a claimant must wait until filing a mechanics lien claim in Florida. His post, for example, mentions that the rough draw payment is 38 days past due, and asks how long he must wait to proceed with a lien.
We’ve addressed this question in a previous FAQs post titled “Can I File A Mechanics Lien Too Early?“
A quote from that article sums it up:
So long as you have done the work and are not paid, you have the right to file a mechanics lien as long as you have met any applicable preliminary notice and notice of intent to lien requirements.
Should You Wait A Certain Period Of Time Before Filing A Mechanic’s Lien?
We’ve now established that you are not required to wait any designated period of time before filing a mechanic’s lien, and now we’ll turn to an equally important inquiry: Is there a period of time you should wait until filing a mechanic’s lien.
I love mechanic’s lien claims, but I’m the first person to preach temperance when speaking with someone thinking about filing. Filing a mechanic’s lien claim carries a lot of baggage. It increases the temperature of a dispute, it costs relationship capital, it subjects you to legal inquiry, etc.
Nevertheless, when push comes to shove, if you’re unpaid on a project you should absolutely take advantage of your mechanic’s lien rights. And you should do so as soon as practical because your mechanic’s lien deadline will draw closer to expiration every single day.
In summary, you shouldn’t file your mechanic’s lien claim hastily, and you should really think about whether the time is right to file your claim. You shouldn’t waddle and delay unnecessarily either. There are strict time limitations to your claim and you want to be well within your window to avoid a dispute about the deadline.