If you are in the construction business, you are probably no stranger to financial challenges. You may have worked on projects over the years and were not paid on time for your work. You might be working in parallel with several other contractors and subcontractors. In many cases, you must start the work before you see any payment at all. In fact, sometimes, things go badly and you are not paid at all.
How do you obtain a mechanic’s lien?
If you find yourself in that situation, you may want to file a mechanic’s lien against the owner of the property, which makes them responsible for paying. You can obtain a mechanic’s lien in all 50 states as well as in the District of Columbia. In Florida, there are several steps to file and enforce a mechanic’s lien.
- If your contract is with the property owner, you must send them a preliminary notice, which states your intention to file the lien. Florida allows up to 45 days after the work starts to send the preliminary notice. The notice must also go to all involved contractors except for design contractors.
- The lien must be filed in the property’s county within 90 days of the work’s completion. You then have an additional 15 days to serve the property owner. Only authorized signatures from the owner’s side are considered valid.
- Once you have followed these steps, you have a year to take legal action against the property owner. The lien will expire if you do not file within a year.
- The mechanic’s lien must have enough information to identify the property but a detailed description is not needed.
Legal advice for a mechanic’s lien
It is essential for you to understand your rights. Anyone who has either worked on a property or who has provided materials to improve that property has the right to file and enforce a mechanic’s lien. Consulting a lawyer if you need a mechanic’s lien can prove valuable. Whether you are a property buyer, seller, contractor, developer, or anyone else who is involved in that type of situation, a lawyer can offer valuable advice that may help you to achieve your objective—being paid for your hard work.