Construction Advocates Association
130 S. Ridgewood Avenue, Daytona Beach, FL 32114
PH: 386.257.1536   FAX: 386.257.1563
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LIEN LAW BASICS
Florida Construction Lien Law was enacted more than 100 years ago to protect all companies and individuals making improvements to real property. Improvements are defined as providing labor and/or materials to increasing the value of the property. Lien Law requires Sub-contractors, sub-sub-contractors and suppliers to properly serve a document titled Notice to Owner to the owner of the property. This Notice to Owner must be received by the owner no later than 45 days from the FIRST day you deliver materials and/or labor to the job site. Once the owner receives your notice, they are then responsible to make sure you are paid out of every subsequent draw. A copy of your Notice to Owner should also be sent to the bank, builder and possible other persons depending on the public records recorded for that property.

If a copy of your Notice to Owner is served properly and timely to the bank, they are also obligated to make sure you get paid out of every subsequent draw. The intent is that other interested parties to the construction will watch your receivables! Just sending Notice to Owners regularly can minimize your collection problems by as much as 80%.

Sending your Notice to Owner is step one and by doing this, you now have LIEN RIGHTS. What happens if you still don't get paid? LIEN RIGHTS means exactly that, you have the legal right to place a Claim of Lien against the property you've improved. A Claim of Lien must be recorded in the Clerk of Court no later than 90 days from your last substantial work, not including punch list and warranty work. A proper and timely Claim of Lien gives you the right to FORCLOSE on the property if you don't receive your money. That's Power.

Each state has its own set of Lien Laws. Florida's Lien Laws are one of the most complex set of laws in the nation because of the volume of construction. It's advisable you use a reputable Lien Law Service to send your notices and assist with these documents. These laws change frequently making it difficult if not impossible to prepare them on your own.