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Work with experienced attorney to navigate issues surrounding construction liens, P.3

Last time, we began speaking a bit about the importance of release of lien agreements as a tool to allow contractors to avoid lien filings by parties that provide work or materials under a general contractor in a construction project.

When a general contractor or other party files a construction lien on a property, the lien is generally valid for one year in Florida, and the property owner has the right to file a notice to contest the lien during that period of time. After such a notice is filed, the party who filed the lien must file a lawsuit to enforce it within 60 days or it becomes invalid. Failure to abide by these time limits can cause problems in some cases. 

In construction projects, not all parties have a direct contractual relationship with the property owner. In many cases, there may no parties other than the general contractor. Parties who do not have a direct contractual relationship with the property owner and who want to preserve their right to file a lien if they are not paid must serve the owner with notice of the services or materials being provided. The notice must be given before the work is begun or the materials are provided, or within 45 day of these dates. Failure to do so leaves the subcontractor or other party unable to file a lien.

Another issue that can come up when filing liens, and something subcontractors and other parties working under a general contractor should be aware of, is that liens are prioritized according to the time they are recorded. Sorting out lien priority isn’t always a straightforward matter, though.

These are only some of the issues that should be considered when navigating construction lien matters in construction projects. Both property owners and contractors, of course, have different types of concerns that need to be addressed. For both, working with an experienced attorney can help ensure that their rights and interests are protected.

Sources:

Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation, Florida’s Construction Lien Law

Florida Statutes, Title XL, Chapter 713

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