Frequently Asked Questions
A LIEN HAS BEEN RECORDED
Below is a list of the most frequently asked questions:
HOW LONG IS A LIEN VALID? A lien remains enforceable for up to one year from the date of recording the lien. If the one year ends on a weekend or holiday, the one year expires on the next day that is not considered a holiday or weekend. However, the period for enforcing the lien can be shortened by filing a Notice of Contest of Lien. If a Notice of Contest of Lien is filed, the period for enforcing the lien is shortened to sixty days from the date the Notice of Contest is served. The period to file an action on the claim of lien can be shortened to twenty days if a party who has an interest in the property serves an Order to Show Cause as to why the lien should not be enforced. In these instances, the lienor would have twenty days from the date of service of the Order to Show Cause to serve and file an action to enforce the claim of lien.
HOW IS A CLAIM OF LIEN ENFORCED? A claim of lien is enforced by filing an action to foreclose the claim of lien. This involves the filing of a lawsuit against the owner of the property, and anyone else who may claim an interest in the property that is inferior or equal to the interest of the lienor. This action is filed in the county where the claim of lien has been filed. In the action, the lienor requests that the Court order the property sold to satisfy the lien.
WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE TO FILE AN ACTION TO ENFORCE A CLAIM OF LIEN? If the lienor does not have a contract with the owner, you need to make sure that the lienor has complied with all of the requirements of the Construction Lien Law. This would include the timely service of a Notice to Owner, and the timely recording of a claim of lien. If the lienor has a contract with the owner, and the lienor is not a materialman, they need to deliver to the owner a Final Contractor's Affidavit at least five business days before you file the action to enforce the claim of lien. Generally, this is true even if the period for filing the claim of lien has been shortened to sixty or twenty days by a Notice of Contest of Lien or Order to Show Cause.
CAN I RECOVER MY ATTORNEY’S FEES AND COSTS FOR ENFORCING OR DEFENDING A CONSTRUCTION LIEN? Generally, the prevailing party in a construction lien foreclosure action is entitled to recover its attorney’s fees and costs pursuant to Florida Statute §713.29. However, there are exceptions to this rule which should be discussed with an attorney.
THERE IS A BOND ON MY JOB, CAN I RECORD A LIEN? Maybe. An owner’s property may be exempt from liens if there is a properly posted payment bond. If there is a bond, a lienor needs to serve a timely Notice of Non-Payment pursuant to Florida Statute §713.23. You need to be careful when recording a lien, to determine whether there is a bond on the project so that you do not fail to send a Notice of Non-Payment. If you were not in privity with the contractor, you also need to send a timely Notice to Contractor within 45 days prior to beginning work.
THE JOB I WORKED ON IS A GOVERNEMENT PROJECT. CAN I FILE A LIEN? No. Generally government jobs are not subject to liens. There are payment bonds to protect subcontractors. If you are not in privity with the contractor, you will have to timely send a Notice to Contractor of your intent to look to the bond for payment and send a Notice of Non-payment no later than 90 days of last furnishing work pursuant to the contract.
We provide this information for general information purposes. Our providing this to you does not create an attorney/client relationship. You should consult with an attorney.