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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>Can I file a lien against a home owned by a corporation for home staging furniture rental? My contract is with the corporation and they paid for a while, but stopped paying.

Can I file a lien against a home owned by a corporation for home staging furniture rental? My contract is with the corporation and they paid for a while, but stopped paying.

FloridaRight to Lien

I put furniture, artwork, rugs and accessories in homes that are on the market to make them more appealing to buyers. I have a contract with the corporation that owns the home.

1 reply

Jun 7, 2019
That's a good question, and I'm sorry to hear that you haven't been getting paid for the work you perform. First, let's look at the ability to lien for things like staging a home. Then, let's talk about some other options for recovery that might be available.

Right to Lien
Generally, mechanics lien rights are available to those who perform work that permanently improves the underlying project property. Very typically, this refers to construction work. But regardless - whatever work that's performed, in order to give rise to mechanics lien rights, must create a "permanent" or lasting improvement in the property. So, while things like installing machinery, painting, and putting up drywall might give rise to lien rights, temporarily staging furniture, hanging artwork, and laying rugs might not.

Other Options for Recovery
While lien rights may not be the most appropriate recovery tool for work that only temporarily improves property, there are certainly other options for recovery that might be available.

For one, even when a mechanics lien isn't necessarily available, sending a warning or threat of lien could still give rise to payment since liens are such a drastic and powerful remedy. Many claimants find that merely sending a document like a Notice of Intent to Lien can help to speed up payments - regardless of whether the claimant can or would ultimately file a lien.

Another potential option might be small claims court. Small claims court is designed to provide legal resolutions to relatively minor payment disputes, without the need for lawyers, and small claims court is a relatively expedient and cheap option. For more on Florida small claims court, this article has good information: Guide to Florida Small Claims Court.

Yet another option may be to send the debt to collections. It's generally not the best option available, but it could lead to some recovery on the debt.

Finally, if all else fails and if there's a sizeable unpaid debt, threatening or even pursuing legal remedies - like breach of contract or unjust enrichment, for example - might be worthwhile.

For more information on Florida's mechanics lien laws, this resource will be helpful: Florida Lien and Notice Overview, FAQs, and Statutes.
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