Protecting Your Payment From Start to Finish.
The Perfect Solutions for Your Lien Documents.
Frequently Asked Questions
A Notice to Owner is a notice sent to Owners and other persons in the Contractor chain informing such parties that you are performing work on the Project, and if you do not get paid you will look to the property, by a lien, for payment. These notices are required in order to have a valid lien on a property. If a lienor has a direct contract with the Statutory Owner (i.e. the property owner or lessee, etc. contracting for improvements) then a Notice to Owner is not required. Simply put, the NTO is to tell the owner and the contracting chain, “Hey I am working on this Project, get a release from me before you release payment. Otherwise, I can lien your property.”
A Notice to Contractor is similar to a Notice to Owner and is utilized when a Contractor provides a payment bond to exempt an owner from liens on the project. Notice to Owner and Notice to Contractor may be combined in one Notice document.
For Notice to Owner…
All lienors WITHOUT direct contract with statutory owner (i.e. Owner or Lessee), except laborers, as a prerequisite to perfecting a lien and recording a claim of lien, must serve a notice on the owner setting forth the lienor’s name and address, a description sufficient for identification of the real property, and the nature of the services or materials furnished or to be furnished.
A sub-subcontractor or a materialman to a subcontractor must serve a copy of the notice on the contractor as a prerequisite to perfecting a lien under this chapter and recording a claim of lien.
A materialman to a sub-subcontractor must serve a copy of the notice to owner on the contractor as a prerequisite to perfecting a lien and recording a claim of lien.
A materialman to a sub-subcontractor shall serve the notice to owner on the subcontractor if the materialman knows the name and address of the subcontractor.
For Notice to Contractors…
Before beginning or within 45 days after beginning to furnish labor, materials, or supplies, a lienor who is not in privity with the contractor, except a laborer, shall serve the contractor with notice in writing that the lienor will look to the contractor’s bond for protection on the work.
Professional Service Providers.
Any person who performs services as architect, landscape architect, interior designer, engineer, or surveyor and mapper, subject to compliance with and the limitations imposed by this part, has a lien on the real property improved for any money that is owing to him or her for his or her services used in connection with improving the real property or for his or her services in supervising any portion of the work of improving the real property, rendered in accordance with his or her contract and with the direct contract.
Any lienor who, regardless of privity, performs services or furnishes material to real property for the purpose of making it suitable as the site for the construction of an improvement or improvements shall be entitled to a lien on the real property for any money that is owed to her or him for her or his services or materials furnished in accordance with her or his contract and the direct contract.
Persons with Direct Contract with Statutory Owner (Person Seeking Improvement of Property). Including Materialmen, Laborers, or Contractor.
Persons WITHOUT Direct Contract with Statutory Owner. Including Materialmen, Laborers, Subcontractors, and Sub-Subcontractors.
“Lienor” means a person who is:
The notice must be served before commencing, or not later than 45 days after commencing, to furnish his or her labor, services, or materials, but, in any event, before the date of the owner’s disbursement of the final payment after the contractor has furnished the Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit.
Florida Law requires SERVICE of the Notice within 45 days. But service is effective on date of mailing, (as opposed to actual delivery) if:
The claim of lien may be recorded at any time during the progress of the work or thereafter but not later than 90 days after the final furnishing of the labor or services or materials by the lienor.
A valid and timely filed lien remains effective for 1 year from the date of recording, unless shortened by a Notice of Contest of Lien (notice filed in the public records and served on linear requiring lienor to enforce lien within 60 days), or Rule to Show Cause( a lawsuit requiring you to demonstrate the validity of your lien within 20 days.) If you fail to bring a lawsuit to enforce your lien within the time requirements, your lien will become invalid and unenforceable.
The timing requirements of the lien law are, for the most part, inflexible, and missing a deadline could result in loss of your lien rights. However, your ability to recover amounts owed is not all lost. You can still bring actions for breach of contract, or unjust enrichment, and others, that are not subject to the lien law’s timing requirements.