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|Must provide list of all subs and suppliers within 10 days of request.||Must be filed within 90 days of last day work performed, and served on owner 15 days after filing. Action to enforce must be commenced within 1 year after recording lien.|
|Notice to Owner required within earlier date of: (a) 45 days after first providing labor or materials; (b) 45 days when work begins on making specialty materials; (c) Before owner's final payment to prime contractor under its contract. Sub-Subs must serve notice before earlier date of: (a) 45 days after first commencing work or furnishing materials or (b) before final payment to sub hiring it.||Must be filed within 90 days of last day work performed, and served on owner 15 days after filing. Action to enforce must be commenced within 1 year after recording lien.|
|If contracting with owner, same notice requirements as Prime. If contracting with prime contractor, same notice requirements as Subcontractor. If contracting with Subcontractor, same notice requirements as Sub-Subcontractor.||Must be filed within 90 days of last day work performed, and served on owner 15 days after filing. Action to enforce must be commenced within 1 year after recording lien.|
Florida Mechanics Lien Frequently Asked Questions
It’s easy to file Florida mechanics liens with Zlien, the web’s leading mechanics lien compliance manager and filing service. Plus, Zlien prepares and files Florida mechanics lien cancellations, preliminary notices, and more. To learn more about Florida’s mechanics lien law, read the frequently asked questions below.
Florida Mechanics Lien FAQs
Who can file a Mechanic’s Lien?
In Florida, the protection of a mechanics lien is broadly available. The following parties have mechanics lien rights: Prime contractors, sub-contractors, sub-subs, laborers, material supplier to owner/contractor/sub/or sub-sub, and professionals (architect, landscape architect, interior designer, engineer, surveyor or mapper). In order to have lien rights in Florida, a license is a prerequisite for those entities for which a license is required by Florida law.
If a contractor is not licensed as required, the sub’s, sub-sub’s, and supplier’s and supplier’s lien rights are not affected.
Parties without mechanics lien protection in Florida include suppliers to suppliers, and suppliers to any subcontractor beyond the second tier.
When is the Deadline to File a Mechanic’s Lien?
Florida law requires that all lien claimants file their mechanics lien within 90 days of the date they last supplied labor or materials.
Do I Need to Send Notice the Lien Was Recorded?
Florida law requires that the Claim of Lien be served on the owner of the liened property either prior to the recording of the lien or within 15 days of its recording. Failure to do so will render the lien voidable to the extent that the failure is shown to be prejudicial to any person entitled to rely on such service. The notice may be served by personal delivery, by sending by registered or certified mail return receipt requested, by sending second-day delivery with evidence of delivery, or if none of those can be accomplished, by posting on the premises.
Can I Include Attorney’s Fees, Collection Costs, or Other Amounts in the Lien Total?
No. Extraneous amounts for anything not specifically contributing to the permanent improvement of real property are not allowed in a lien claim. However, attorney’s fees are recoverable as costs in a lien foreclosure action (pursuant to F.S. 713.29). Despite being statutorily available to the “prevailing party,” recent Florida cases shows that it is difficult to be certain as to whether you will or will not be awarded attorney fees. See: Florida Mechanics Lien Cases Award Attorney Fees To Prevailing Party Only Sometimes.
When is the Deadline to Enforce a Mechanic’s Lien, or, How Long is My Lien Effective?
Generally a Florida mechanic’s lien must be enforced within one year of the date the lien was recorded, however, this time period can be both extended and shortened. If the lien claimant supplied labor or materials after the original lien was recorded, and filed an amended claim of lien noting that later date, the one-year time limitation runs from the date the amended lien was filed.
Either of those one-year periods may be shortened, however. If the owner or owner’s agent files and serves a Notice of Contest of Lien, the time limit is shortened to 60 days from that date. Also, any interested party may shorten the time limit to a mere 20 days by filing and serving a summons and complaint to to show cause why the lien should not be enforced by suit, or vacated.
Will My Lien Have Priority Over Pre-Existing Mortgages or Construction Loans?
Florida mechanic’s liens have priority over encumbrances to the property that were not recorded prior to the mechanic’s lien attaching to the property. Any encumbrance that was properly recorded prior to the date that the mechanic’s lien attached to the property has priority over the subsequent mechanic’s lien.
Mechanic’s liens themselves have a hierarchy under Florida law. The priority of mechanic’s liens is by class as follows: 1) Liens of Laborers, 2) Liens of all other claimants other than the general contractor, 3) Liens of the general contractor. If the total amount available is less than required to pay all liens on the property, the liens are to be paid by class, either in full or pro rata, before any liens in a subsequent class are paid.
Must the Lien Include a Legal Property Description?
No. Florida requires that the property be described sufficiently for identification. This does not require a legal property description.
Must the Lien Include be Notarized?
Yes. Florida law requires that a mechanic’s lien must be notarized to be valid.
Can I File a Lien if I’m Unlicensed?
It depends. Florida law states that “no lien shall exist in favor of any contractor, subcontractor, or sub-subcontractor who is unlicensed”, as well as unlicensed professionals. However, if a properly licensed lienor contracts with an unlicensed lienor, the rights of the properly licensed lienor are unaffected. Further, there is no requirement for a labor or materialman to possess any type of license.
Can I File a Lien on a Condominium Project?
A mechanic’s lien may be filed against an individual condominium just as against every other property. If a claim is to be filed against a condominium project as a whole, such that it is to attach to each unit in a condominium development, each individual property owner must have consented to the project. However, if the condominium association consents to or contracts for the work, each individual condominium owner is presumed to have consented.
Who Cancels the Lien if/when I get Paid?
A lienor may be required to execute a waiver or release of lien in exchange for a progress payment, or a final payment.
Florida Preliminary Notice FAQs
Do I need to send a Preliminary Notice?
It depends. Any party (except wage laborers) who does not have a direct contractual relationship with the property owner is required to serve a Notice to Owner within the earlier of a) 45 days from first furnishing services or materials, b) 45 days from when work begins on making specialty materials, or c) 45 days before owner’s final payment to prime contractor.
If the contractor posted a payment bond, and the property owner recorded the bond with his Notice of Commencement, all lien claimants who did not contract directly with the owner must serve the contractor a Notice to Contractor within 45 days of the date on which they first supplied labor or materials.
Laborers and design professionals are not required to provide the preliminary notice to owner.
When do I need to send a Preliminary Notice?
Parties required to send the preliminary notice must send it within the earlier of a) 45 days from first furnishing services or materials, b) 45 days from when work begins on making specialty materials, or c) 45 days before owner’s final payment to prime contractor.
What if I send the Preliminary Notice Late?
How Should the Preliminary Notice be Sent?
The preliminary notice should be sent by certified mail, personal service, or overnight delivery.
Do I have to send the Preliminary Notice to Someone Other than the Owner?
The preliminary notice must be served on the owner, and all other parties “up the chain” from the party providing the notice.
Is the Preliminary Notice Considered Delivered When Sent or When Received?
The Preliminary Notice is considered delivered at the time of mailing only if the notice is sent within 40 days of first furnishing labor or materials, otherwise, the notice is considered served on the date of receipt.