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                                                                 Guidelines

When?  

 General Contractors / Design Professionals (if your contract is with the owner): The Florida mechanics lien is recorded within 90 days of the last furnishing of labor or materials to the project.

Subcontractors/Suppliers (if your contract is with the prime or another sub): Your Florida lien is filed within 90 days of your last furnishing  labor or materials to the project.  Note, this is not completion of the overall project, it is completion of your portion of the work involved.

 Who?  A mechanic’s lien in Florida is allowed for General contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers, renters of equipment, architects, engineers, and land surveyors.

 Where?  Clerk or Recorder (in county where work / material furnished).

How Long Does it Stay on Record?  A mechanics lien in Florida stays 1 year after recording the lien.   Exception:  If a Notice of Contest of Lien is served on you–20 days after that service. A lawsuit to foreclose the lien is then required. We have templates for this.

Let Us Help:   If you prefer, for the same price, we will instruct you how to fill-out the Florida mechanic’s lien form line by line, answer questions, and give a general idea of the chances for success in enforcing the lien. (800-995-9434).

Mechanics Lien for Florida Law SummaryFor a more detailed discussion of Florida mechanics liens.

 


 

 

 

 

HOW TO FILE A FLORIDA MECHANIC’S LIEN

Step 1.  Fill-out and Print

 Complete the PDF “fillable” mechanic’s lien template.  It automatically captures data and prints the lien in final form. Bonus feature:  Keep on your desktop: it is re-usable for other non-paying jobs.

Amount of Florida mechanic’s lien: All work/material furnished under the base verbal or written contract plus change orders actually performed, whether signed or not. Finance charges are allowed only if included in your contract or PO and signed by the other party. If not, you still get pre-judgment interest.  But do not include specific finance charges or interest in the amount of your lien; instead express it as a possible add-on at trial. Example: “Mechanic’s lien for the principal amount of $10,550, plus finance charges / pre-judgment interest as allowed by law”.  This will be awarded later if you are the prevailing party in the Florida lien foreclosure suit.

Do not reduce for freebies or discounts, as they were contingent on being paid.  With non-payment, it is no longer legal consideration for a contract modification in which the owner receives a reduced price.  Example:  In a kitchen remodel, for good customer relations you supplied some extras free:  a) a 48 bottle built-in wine cellar and b) painted the adjoining dining room with a coat of base and semi-gloss. Then you never got paid the last installment on the contract. If you supplied labor only, your Florida lien will add in the hourly rate under the contract. If labor and material, use cost-plus or T & M amounts in the lien.

Do not include:  A mechanics lien in Florida should not include: court costs and attorneys’ fees (included later if you win at trial for breach of contract); lost profits if terminated from the job; delay or impact damages; lost time or business interruption; or anything else not constituting actual labor and materials improving the property.

Be careful.  Including unauthorized amounts can invalidate a Florida mechanics lien.  Call us if you have any questions.

Step 2.  Sign and Notarize

 Signed by anyone who has knowledge of the general services rendered and the costs incurred.  It does not have to be someone in the field—in other words, it can be by office personnel. For example, this could be a manager, bookkeeper, controller, job foreman, project manager, owner, co-owner, or partner. All recorded documents must be notarized.

Step 3.  Look-up Recorder’s Office

 Recording a mechanics lien in Florida is at the county level, not state or city.  See “Where?” above for the name of your State’s recorder. Do a Google search for the county in which the project is located.  Example: “[Name] County Clerk Recorder Register of Deeds”. Call to verify the fee and recorder’s address. Give them the city where the work was done–sometimes it is filed in different branch offices.  If you don’t know the county, Google the city—even small towns have a Wikipedia listing describing the county. Use the cover letter provided. Send the original and one copy with a stamped self-addressed return envelope.

Legal description required? Most counties don’t require it, but if they do, we will look it up for free with any purchase.

Step 4.  Mail

Regular mail to the recorder.  Overnight if close to the filing deadline. If a general contractor, serve the Florida mechanics lien on the owner with a copy certified mail. If a sub or supplier, serve the owner and general with a copy certified mail. Fill-out and staple as the last page the Proof of Service (it shows proof of mailing to the owner and/or general contractor).

You’re  Done!

Call us if you have any questions about a mechanics lien in Florida—we’ll walk you through it. (800) 995-9434; (925) 899-8449.

 

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