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Note: Proper notice for mechanic's liens is crucial

Construction projects have the potential seriously disrupt a party's use of a property, though the expectation is that any disruption will be temporary, and that the ends will justify the means. However, some Florida homeowners could face permanent loss of property if a mechanic's lien is filed.

While a mechanic's lien can be incredibly upsetting if you are a property owner, you should understand that there are numerous laws and guidelines in place to protect you from sudden or unfair loss of property. For instance, in order for a party to file a lien, it must provide proper notification.

This notice is called a "Notice to Owner" and contractors, subcontractors and sub-subcontractors can all be required to submit this notice in writing to property owners. It must be sent before materials and/or services are provided or within 45 days of providing the materials and/or services.

The notice must include several pieces of information, including:

  • A description of the items or services to be provided
  • An explanation of a party's right to file claim over or your property for non-payment
  • The lienor's name and contact information
  • A description of the property

If a notice is incomplete, inaccurate or improperly submitted, then a party may lose its right to file a claim on your property.

Considering all that can be at stake when it comes to construction and payment for services, you should never take lightly legal agreements between you and the parties working on your property. You will want to be sure agreements are thorough, enforceable and understandable before signing anything. 

You may not always be the one to choose which companies or providers are selected to provide materials and/or services on your house, and you may not even pay these parties directly. However, regardless of if you chose them and whether you write them a check specifically or not, they can file a claim on your property for unpaid work. Consulting an attorney to learn more about mechanic's liens and/or if an issue arises between you and these parties will therefore be crucial.

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Tannenbaum Scro, P.L.
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