Pre-lien Notice before a Florida Mechanic’s Lien
As you have probably heard a number of times, you cannot simply file a mechanic’s lien in Florida without going through an additional step. That first step is a pre-lien notice called: Notice to Owner or Notice to Owner/Notice to Contractor. Without it, as a matter of statute, you are not entitled to record a mechanic’s lien and if you do, it would be considered void and slander of title.
Many people ask if there are any exceptions. Unfortunately there are none. This is because the statute is strictly construed. Here are some actual examples:
• What if the prime contractor promises to pay you by a certain date and you rely upon this in not serving the notice? This is not an exception.
• What if there is no controversy that you have actually done all the work as required? Again, there is no exception.
• What if the unpaid amount has to do with a change order which has not only been agreed to, but has been put in writing? Again, there is no exception.
This pre-lien notice is required of all contractors, subcontractors and material or equipment suppliers who do not have a direct contract with the owner.
This means that if you are a general contractor with a direct verbal or written contract with the owner, you are not required to give the notice as a prerequisite to the Florida mechanic’s lien. Most commonly the notice is required by material and equipment suppliers, subcontractors and sub- subcontractors. Laborers and design professionals are not required to serve the pre-lien notice.
The time deadline for service is within 40 days of your first furnishing labor or materials to the project.
But don’t wait, it will only get you in trouble. The best idea is to serve the Notice immediately after your contract or proposal is signed. And also remember there is no such thing as a premature notice. There is only a belated notice. And you know the consequences for the latter.
National lien law has this pre-lien notice which can be downloaded and used over and over again. You can call us if you have any questions since we give free consultation for a Florida mechanic’s lien.