I was under contract on a Property that I was purchasing. Unfortunately I'm no longer on the contract. And I would like to get reimbursed on the expenses on the property.
Is it possible and am I able to place a lien on the property?
Oct 11, 2018
I'm sorry to hear about that - and that's an interesting question. For one, in Florida, those who contract with the owner to provide labor and/or materials for the improvement of real property will have the right to lien if all applicable requirements and deadlines are adhered to. However, it's important that the owner has authorized the work, and as set out by the Florida lien statute, a lien may only be filed "for any money that is owed to him or her for labor, services, materials, or other items required by, or furnished in accordance with, the direct contract and for unpaid finance charges due under the lienor’s contract." Thus, in a situation where the owner did not contract for the work of improvement and the owner of the property was not originally expected to pay for the improvement, a lien claim might not be the most appropriate route for recovery. For more information on Florida lien claims, zlien's Florida Mechanics Lien FAQ could provide some insight. Regardless of whether a lien might be filed, though, there are still other options available to recover payments owed. For one - even where a filed mechanics lien might not be valid or enforceable, the threat of a lien could be effective to compel payment. A document like a Notice of Intent to Lien could be effective because the mechanics lien remedy is such a drastic one - owners typically cannot afford to call a claimants bluff. Another option could be to make a demand for payment, specifically one that threatens potential legal actions on unpaid amounts. When sent via an attorney, these threats tend to carry a little more weight. Yet another option, depending on the amount at issue, might be small claims court. In Florida, when the dispute is under $5,000, small claims court provides a cheaper, more time-efficient process for recovery. If the dispute exceeds $5,000, traditional litigation could be an option - though it can be both risky and expensive.