How to File a Mechanics Lien in Florida

 The Sunshine State isn’t only known for its oranges and beaches, but also its thriving construction industry. If you plan on participating, you need to know how to file a mechanics lien in Florida correctly.It’s important to know the specific mechanics lien laws of every state you work in.

Timeline and Steps for Filing and Enforcing a Mechanics Lien in Florida

If you are contracting directly with the owner of the property, you are only required to provide a list of subcontractors and suppliers within 10 days of a request for this information. You are not required to provide a notice to owner. It is wise, however, to collect information in a job sheet before beginning work that contains all the information you may need in the event you have to file a mechanics lien in Florida. You will need accurate accounting information, owner contact information and property description to file a mechanic’s lien in Florida.

Contracting directly with the owner

If you are not contracting directly with the owner, you must send a preliminary notice to the owner. This notice will inform the owner of your intention to file a mechanics lien. In Florida you have 45 days after you commence working or providing goods to the project or at the latest, sometime before the property owner’s final payment to the general contractor to send a preliminary notice. In addition to serving a copy on the owner, you should also serve a copy on any contractor up the chain you are not directly contracted with. The only contractors excluded from the requirement of serving notice are individual laborers, architects, engineers or design professionals.


What, When and Where?

If payment is not forthcoming, you’ve reached the point where you have to file a mechanics lien. In Florida, you must file your lien in the clerk of court records in the county where the property is located within 90 days of the completion of your work. You will lose your right file a mechanics lien in Florida if you miss this deadline. You must then serve the lien on the owner within an additional 15 days after filing the lien. This can be accomplished either by serving it personally or sending it via registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, or if no other method of service is available, by posting the notice on the premise. If personally served the lien notice, you need to receive a signature from an authorize signatory of the owner to prove service was completed. To be an authorized signatory, it must be a partner if the owner is a partnership, an officer, director or managing agent if a corporation, or a member or manager if a limited liability company.

Make it count

After you’ve recorded your mechanics lien in the Florida county in which you’re working, you have one year to begin any necessary legal action to enforce your rights. If you fail to file a suit to enforce your mechanics lien within this year period, your lien will automatically expire.

Detail For consideration

In Florida, your mechanics lien needs to contain enough information to sufficiently identify the property in question and does not need a full legal property description. However, keep in mind, especially on new construction, there might not yet be an official street address and you’d be smarter to define the property based on plat and tract numbers or other more specific methods of identification.


the complete guide to lien & notice deadlines

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