Florida’s Construction Lien Laws: Notice to Owner- Does the Notice Contain the Proper Language?
In the third segment of Florida’s Construction Lien Laws, we will discuss the language necessary to provide proper notice to the Owner pursuant to Florida’s construction lien statute. Generally speaking, the top seven keys to a Notice to Owner are:
- The statutory warning clause;
- To whom is the Notice directed;
- What Materials or Services are you providing;
- The property with which the materials or services are being furnished;
- Florida law language describing a construction lien;
- Furnishing copies to required entities; and
- Proper service upon the required entities
To ensure that the proper language is contained within a given Notice to Owner, the statute (Fla. Stat., §713.06 (2)(c) neatly lays out the exact Notice to Owner template for use. The following is the statutory template:
(c) The notice may be in substantially the following form and must include the information and the warning contained in the following form:
WARNING! FLORIDA’S CONSTRUCTION LIEN LAW ALLOWS SOME UNPAID CONTRACTORS, SUBCONTRACTORS, AND MATERIAL SUPPLIERS TO FILE LIENS AGAINST YOUR PROPERTY EVEN IF YOU HAVE MADE PAYMENT IN FULL. UNDER FLORIDA LAW, YOUR FAILURE TO MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE PAID MAY RESULT IN A LIEN AGAINST YOUR PROPERTY AND YOUR PAYING TWICE. TO AVOID A LIEN AND PAYING TWICE, YOU MUST OBTAIN A WRITTEN RELEASE FROM US EVERY TIME YOU PAY YOUR CONTRACTOR.
NOTICE TO OWNER
To (Owner’s name and address)
The undersigned hereby informs you that he or she has furnished or is furnishing services or materials as follows:
(General description of services or materials) for the improvement of the real property identified as (property description) under an order given by
Florida law prescribes the serving of this notice and restricts your right to make payments under your contract in accordance with Section 713.06, Florida Statutes.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR
Under Florida’s laws, those who work on your property or provide materials and are not paid have a right to enforce their claim for payment against your property. This claim is known as a construction lien.
If your contractor fails to pay subcontractors or material suppliers or neglects to make other legally required payments, the people who are owed money may look to your property for payment, EVEN IF YOU HAVE PAID YOUR CONTRACTOR IN FULL.
—RECOGNIZE that this Notice to Owner may result in a lien against your property unless all those supplying a Notice to Owner have been paid.
—LEARN more about the Construction Lien Law, Chapter 713, Part I, Florida Statutes, and the meaning of this notice by contacting an attorney or the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
Copies to: (Those persons listed in Section 713.06(2)(a) and (b), Florida Statutes)
Should a subcontractor or sub-subcontractor be required to provide notice to its contractor, this form may be combined with a Notice to Contractor pursuant to Fla. Stat., §713.23. Simply change the title to “NOTICE TO OWNER/NOTICE TO CONTRACTOR” and include the contractor’s information within the Notice.
Service of the Notice to Owner
Lastly, the Notice to Owner must be directed to the Owner via the address contained within the Notice of Commencement for the project. In the absence of a recorded Notice of Commencement, the address contained within the building permit application may be used to serve the Notice to Owner. How the Notice to Owner is served is equally important. Florida Statute, §713.18 (1) provides three methods with which to properly serve the Notice:
(a) By actual delivery to the person to be served; if a partnership, to one of the partners; if a corporation, to an officer, director, managing agent, or business agent; or, if a limited liability company, to a member or manager.
(b) By common carrier delivery service or by registered, Global Express Guaranteed, or certified mail, with postage or shipping paid by the sender and with evidence of delivery, which may be in an electronic format.
(c) By posting on the site of the improvement if service as provided by paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) cannot be accomplished.
Proper language within the Notice to Owner and proper service of the Notice to Owner is imperative to maintaining lien rights. For more information on lien rights and how they may impact your property, project or business, do not hesitate to contact us via the link below.
Blog by: James Gonzalez