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Florida’s lien law provides protection to contractors, subcontractors, sub-subcontractors, suppliers, and others who furnish labor, services or materials for construction projects. Liens help unpaid persons secure payment for the labor, services or materials they have provided. But beware – there are deadlines for doing so and they are strictly enforced. The attorneys at Jonathan P. Cohen, P.A. know the Florida lien laws and can help you file and perfect your lien in a timely manner.
Florida Lien Deadlines for Subcontractors, Sub-Subcontractors, and Suppliers
Under Florida’s lien laws, subcontractors, sub-subcontractors, and material suppliers who contract with general contractors must send a notice to the owner, also known as an NTO, to the property owner either before labor, services or materials are first provided or no later than 45 days after labor, services or materials are first provided, and in any event, before the owner’s final payment to the general contractor has occurred, whichever is earlier.
Once a subcontractor, sub-subcontractor, or material supplier has finished providing labor, services or materials, they will have up to 90 days to file a claim of lien, a copy of which must be served on the owner no later than 15 days after it has been recorded. A lawsuit to enforce a lien must be filed within one year of when the lien was recorded. However, the deadline might be shortened if the owner files a notice of his or her intent to contest the lien, in which case, the deadline is reduced to 60 days once the notice is filed and served on the claimant. Similarly, if the owner files a notice to show cause for why the lien should not be enforced, the deadline for responding to the show cause complaint is 20 days.
Lien Deadlines for Primary Contractors
Unlike subcontractors, sub-subcontractors, and material suppliers, general contractors who directly contract with the property owner are not required to send a notice to owner to establish his or her lien rights. However, similar to subcontractors, sub-subcontractors and material suppliers, general contractors have a 90 day-deadline to file a claim of lien from the final date that labor, services or materials were supplied, a 15-day deadline from date of recording to serve the claim of lien on the property owner and one year to file a lien enforcement action from the date the claim of lien was recorded.
Get Help from an Experienced Florida Construction Attorney
If a party misses one of the deadlines, he or she might not have legal recourse for payment. Working with an experienced Florida construction attorney at the law firm of Jonathan P. Cohen, P.A. will help you enforce your lien rights. Contact us today at (954) 462-8850 to schedule a consultation.