Florida Lien Law

An Overview Of Florida Lien Law

Florida construction liens are authorized by § 713.06 of the Florida Statutes. For a lien to be placed on real property by a contractor, subcontractors, and/or material/equipment suppliers who do not have a direct contract (Privity) with the owner or the owner's agent, they must mail a Notice to Owner to preserve their lien rights.

The Notice to Owner must be timely mailed to have valid lien rights. However, not everyone is required to mail a Notice to Owner to preserve their lien rights. For example, day laborers and design professionals are not required to mail a Notice to Owner.

45 days For The Notice To Owner

A Notice to Owner must be served within 45 days from the first day of work, delivery of materials or specially fabricated items. A Notice to Owner can be mailed before the commencement of work.

Generally, proof of mailing within the first 40 days satisfies the requirements of Chapter 713. However, if the Notice to Owner is mailed after the 40th day, then actual delivery of the Notice to Owner is required before the 45th day. Proof of the delivery must also be obtained.

A Lien Does Not Last Forever

A lien must be recorded within 90 days from the last day of substantial completion. A lien can only be recorded for improvements to real property. A lien is not valid forever; it must be enforced or it's lost.

A lien is only valid for one year from the date of recording, and it cannot be renewed. The enforcement is done by filing a lien foreclose action, and if successful, Chapter 713 allows the prevailing party to recover their attorney's fees and costs incurred during the litigation. To review an example of a valid lien form, please refer to Florida Statute 713.08.

Sobi Law Group, P.L. offers assistance in complying with Florida Statutes and Notice to Owner lien actions. Contact our office for a free consultation with our lawyer. We regularly assist clients in obtaining and defending against liens in Broward County, Palm Beach County and Miami-Dade County.

Made A Mistake With A Lien?

Unfortunately, some contractors or subcontractors do not follow the proper procedures necessary to protect their lien rights pursuant to Florida Statutes Chapter 713, and thus have no lien rights. Although it is always preferred to have a valid lien, not having a valid lien does not prevent the collection of past-due money via other legal avenues.

For clients without statutory lien rights, our attorney may be able to assist them with the collection of their past-due money via other avenues available under the law, such as breach of contract, equitable lien, unjust enrichment and quantum meruit claims, when possible. In some circumstances, we may be able to encumber the property in order to collect a past-due debt.

Our firm can provide assistance in identifying lien alternatives and in finding a solution that works best for your particular needs. Please contact our office for a free consultation.

The above is a brief summary of the Florida Lien Law. The Florida Lien Law is very complex, and the above summary is not legal advice, and should not be used as the basis for any decision, but merely to illustrate the complexity of this area of law. Please contact our Davie office for a free consultation with our attorney, at Sobi Law Group, P.L. at 954-380-8778.