Our example is:

We run a service call but the home owner is out of state and doesn’t want to put a credit card on file. He prefers we call after completion but we have been burned by people not answering and etc… Can we do the lien process if we never sent a quote or had a contract but instead we were doing time and material?

Answered 3 months ago

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Alex Benarroche

Legal Associate Levelset

Good question. There are a number of states where a written contract is expressly required in order to preserve your lien rights. For a state-by-state breakdown, you can read: Can You File a Lien Without a Written Contract? For Florida specifically, the definitions section of the lien statute, §713.01 states that a contract is, "an agreement for improving real property, written or unwritten, express or implied, and includes extras or change orders." Therefore, a written agreement is not required to preserve lien rights in Florida. However, proceeding to work without a written contract is a risky proposition. We always stress the importance of getting everything in writing. If operating without a written contract, be sure to organize and document everything; including all correspondence, receipts, and any daily or progress reports. For additional resources check out: (1) Time and Materials Contracts: Pros & Cons, and (2) Florida Mechanics Lien & Notice OVerview page.

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