How Long Does a Construction Lien Last in Florida?
When a Florida contractor is not paid for the work they perform on real property, Chapter 713 and the Florida Constitution permit the aggrieved contractor to record a construction lien on the property. Construction liens are a valuable tool in the collection of amounts due and owner for work performed. This blog will discuss the time limitations on a Florida construction lien.
The construction lien must be recorded no later than 90 days after the contractor has performed its final furnishing of work or improvements to the property. Once recorded, the construction lien will remain effective and as an encumbrance against the property for a period of one year from the date it was originally recorded. There is only one way to extend that time. The lienor must file a lawsuit to enforce or foreclose the lien within the time that it is effective to keep it alive longer than the one year period. A lienor cannot just file a renewal or extension of lien after the one year period is up.
Shortening the Liens Effective Time
With no lawsuit initiated on the construction lien, it is rendered unenforceable. For an owner, who has had their property liened, there are two ways to shorten the one-year period, aside from voluntary release. If a notice of contest of lien is recorded by the owner, the lien’s effective time is shortened to 60 days from the date the clerk serves a notice of contest of lien on the lienor. If the contractor fails to initiate its lawsuit, within the 60 day time period, the construction lien is rendered ineffective.
The second shortening device is a summons to show cause filed by any interested party. When a lienor receives such a summons, he or she should consult legal counsel familiar with the construction lien law. Generally, the lienor must file a separate action or a counterclaim within 20 days of service of the summons or the court will enter an order discharging the lien. A transfer of the lien to bond or cash deposit does not affect the duration of the lien. Having an understanding as to the duration of a Florida construction lien is important in order properly time your enforcement or defense of the lien.
For more information on construction lien issue, contact a Cobb & Gonzalez attorney at firstname.lastname@example.org
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