Florida is one of the 12 states that has regulated and statutorily provided lien waiver forms. However, unlike the other 11 states, statutory forms are provided, but they aren’t actually required. Also unlike the other 11 regulated states, Florida only provides two forms; one for release upon progress payments and upon final payments. Converting them to a conditional waiver only requires the addition of certain information.
Guide to Florida’s Lien Waiver – Final Payment Form
A “final payment’ is self-explanatory. It’s the last payment on the job. However, the form of the waiver will change some depending on whether that payment is in hand, or if it will be given after the waiver is submitted. If payment is in hand, a standard (unconditional) Florida lien waiver may be appropriate. However, if payment is outstanding, it’s generally safer to submit a conditional waiver. Also, keep retainage in mind. Retainage amounts are lienable, so if it hasn’t been paid, it’s probably not a good idea to waive them.
The standard form provided by statute is for an unconditional final payment lien waiver. However, the addition of certain information can convert this waiver into a conditional one.
How to convert a Florida lien waiver into a conditional lien waiver
To convert a Florida Final Payment lien waiver to a conditional waiver, certain language must be added:
“pursuant to Construction Lien Law, Florida Code §713.20(7), this waiver and release is conditional and effective only on the lienor’s receipt of payment from the financial institution on which the following check is drawn,”
Plus, other information must be included with the waiver: (1) maker of check, (2) amount of check, and (3) “check payable to” information. Without such language, the lien waiver will be considered an unconditional waiver.
How to Fill Out the Florida Lien Waiver for Final Payments
> Sum of $___. This blank spot is much more important for final payment waivers than it is for progress payment waivers. On this form, there is not through date section to fill out. Meaning, the amount of money claimed here is the full and final amount of lien rights being waived. If using the conditional language, be sure that this amount and the amount of the check matches up.
>Customer name. This is the name of the person who hired the claimant, and usually the name of the party who will actually be making payment. There are some scenarios where the party making payment is not the same as the “customer name.”
>Owner name. This field should identify the property owner(s). Again, while this is pretty straightforward, slight nuances can lead to confusion. Think of the following scenarios:
- Multiple owners: list all of the owners
- Work done for a tenant: list the tenant and the property owner(s)
- Work managed by a construction company: list owners, not managers
- Public projects: list the government entity that commissioned the work
- P3 projects: identify the developers
>Description of the property. This is where the project is located. On mechanics lien claims, a full legal description is required. On lien waivers, a property address may be enough. However, the more specific a claimant can be, the better.
>Date. This is pretty straightforward. It’s the date that the lien waiver is being signed.
>By. It’s time to sign the lien waiver. Include a printed name and address, along with the signature of the claimant or authorized representative.
That’s it, the form should be complete and ready to execute.
Lien waivers are often overlooked but come with significant legal consequences. Hopefully, this guide helped clarify how to fill out this important form.
For a deep dive on Florida lien waivers: