These documents include both the Mechanics Lien and Bond Claim, but also preliminary notices and the lien cancellation. Understanding how to use these documents can be a challenge. Finding reliable versions of these documents is equally tough.
Free Florida Lien Forms For Download
Florida Notice to Owner / Notice to Contractor
All parties who do not contract directly with the property owner in Florida must deliver a preliminary notice within 45 days of first furnishing materials and/or labor to the project. When there isn’t a payment bond posted to the project, the notice is styled a Notice to Owner. When a bond is posted, however, the notice is styled a Notice to Contractor.
The Notice to Contractor is always delivered to the general contractor. The Notice to Owner, however, must be provided to the property owner and everyone “above the contracting chain” from you (i.e. everybody between you and the property owner). Since potential lien claimants may not know whether a bond has been placed, or the specifics about who is issuing the bond, Florida law allows you to request this from the property owner or prime contractor.
Further, you can send a combined Notice to Contractor/Notice to Owner preliminary notice, which will protect both your lien rights and bond claim rights. The free form provided here is such a combined Notice to Contractor/Notice to Owner. It also contains a formal written request for identification of the bond.
Florida Claim of Lien
When unpaid on a construction project in Florida, parties may file a mechanics lien against the real property, gaining a real security interest in the property itself equal to the value of the services, labor and/or materials furnished to the project. Mechanics liens in Florida must be filed within 90 days of last furnishing labor and/or materials to a construction project. More specific information about Florida’s mechanics lien laws can be found in the post on this blog: 5 Things To Know About Florida’s Mechanics Lien Law.
This particular form should be filled in, signed and notarized, and then filed with the Clerk of Court for the county where the project is located. While usually filing with the Clerk of Court is sufficient, some counties have a separate County Recorder department. If this is the case, the lien should be filed in with the recorder and not the clerk.
Florida Notice of Non-Payment
When a bond has been issued for the project, lien claimants are entitled to file a claim against the bond, and not the real property itself. This claim must be delivered to the prime contractor and the surety company by certified mail, with return receipt requested. It must be delivered within 90 days of last furnishing labor and/or materials to the construction project. The “Notice of Non-Payment,” while creating a formal notice upon the claim under the Florida construction lien law, does not require recording with the clerk or recorder.
Notice of Contest
If your property is liened, and you don’t want to wait for an entire year to see whether the lienor intends to file a lien foreclosure action, in Florida you can serve a “Notice of Contest” upon the lienor. Service of this notice shortens the lien effective period from one year to just 60 days, meaning the lienor will be required to file the lawsuit to foreclose the lien within the following 60 days or the mechanics lien will be rendered void.
This document must be signed and notarized, and served on the lienor by certified mail with return receipt requested.
Florida Discharge of Lien
After receiving payment in response to a mechanics lien, you’ll be required to discharge (or release or cancel) your mechanics lien from public records. The lien discharge documentation should be filed in the same recorder or clerks office where the mechanics lien itself was recorded. The document must be signed and notarized, and must actually reference details about the recorded lien within it.
Levelset Lien Forms
While Levelset prides itself on having the most complete and accurate set free lien forms, there is more to filing a mechanics lien or properly sending a notice to owner than just filling out the form and sending it on its way. We provide these forms to our readers free of charge, but that’s because we understand that the true value of Levelset’s platform is more than just providing our clients with forms.
First, forms are fluid. The forms we provide above are simple generic forms for Florida mechanics liens. However, depending on your role in the project and the work you’re performing, these lien forms may exclude certain fields, or may change slightly in one way or another. Plus, you have to make a decision about which form is the right form for you to use. When you use the LienPilot platform, all of these nuances and variables are taken into consideration. You just choose the data appropriate to your situation.
Second, there are a lot of steps in putting these documents together and getting them filed or delivered. A platform like Levelset that automates all of the logistics has a value that cannot be understated. Take a look at this blog post for a more detailed explanation: Why You Shouldn’t Use Do-It-Yourself Mechanic Lien and Notice Forms.