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How do I file a labor lien on a property?

FloridaMechanics LienNotice of Intent to LienPreliminary NoticeRight to Lien

The home owner hired us to paint the exterior and interior of his house just doing labor. We did the work and he did not pay us. I need to know how each person can file a labor lien?

1 reply

Jul 3, 2019
That's a good question, and I'm sorry to hear that y'all have had some trouble on this job. In Florida, laborers are entitled to mechanics lien rights, just like other parties - like a contractor, sub, or supplier. So, filing a mechanics lien as a laborer would be done just as any other party might file a lien. As for how that is done - Levelset has some great content on filing Florida liens: How to File a Florida Mechanics Lien.

The article above provides great detail on how to file a Florida mechanics lien, but for the basics: A mechanics lien will need to contain certain project information, information about the property being liened, and it will need to make a claim for payment. It will generally need to identify what's owed and what's unpaid, as well as who owns the property, too. And, once a mechanics lien form has been properly filled out, that lien must be recorded with the county recorded in the county where the work was performed - and a fee will be charged for filing. Once the lien is filed, a copy of the filed lien must be served on the owner within 15 days of recording (or, notice of the lien filing may be given shortly before the lien is actually filed). But again - the above article breaks down the Florida filing process in greater detail, and some additional information on Florida's mechanics lien requirements can be found here: Florida Mechanics Lien Overview. It's also worth noting that, unlike some other parties, wage laborers do not have to send a Notice to Owner in order to preserve their right to lien, like some other parties. More on Florida's notice requirements here: About Florida's Notice to Owner (NTO).

As a last and final note - it's worth mentioning that the mere threat of a lien filing can often lead to payment, and if so, that can save a claimant from the cost and headaches of filing a mechanics lien. By sending a document like a Notice of Intent to Lien, a claimant can show that they're serious about payment and that they won't back down until payment is made. Contractors and property owners hate liens (even more so than everyone else), so knowing that a lien may be on the horizon may be enough to speed up payment. Plus, if it doesn't work, a claimant can still proceed with their claim. More on that idea, here: What is a Notice of Intent to Lien?
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