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I am a non-license handy man, can i file a lien against the proprty i worked on for non payment?

FloridaRight to Lien

i worked on a house for a year,and was never paid.

1 reply

Aug 7, 2018
First, it's worth noting that if the state of Florida requires licensure for particular work performed, then failure to hold that licensure will be fatal to a mechanics lien claim. Of course, not all work requires licensure. In Florida, many small repair services do not require licensure - and unless work includes structural, plumbing, or wiring work, simple repairs and maintenance might not require licensure. Of course, business licensure may be required - and individual counties might even have their own licensure requirements. Anyway - there are a number of other factors that will weigh in on whether a mechanics lien would be an appropriate remedy. This includes what type of work was performed, when that work was performed, and who hired you - just to name a few. Regarding the type of work: most types of construction work give rise to lien rights in Florida, and rights are pretty broadly available to those who those who perform work. As for when work was performed, Florida law requires that all lien claimants file their mechanics lien within 90 days of the date they last supplied labor or materials. Liens filed after this time will be considered late and deemed invalid. Finally, while most parties are entitled to lien rights (including those who were hired by the property owner, those hired by a prime contractor, or even those hired by some subcontractors), the party who hired you will still matter for determining if other requirements are present before filing a lien claim. Most parties in Florida are required to send preliminary notice (called a "Notice to Owner") prior to filing a lien claim. However, those parties who have contracted with the owner and who are working as wage laborers are not required to send preliminary notice. For more info on Florida's preliminary notice requirements and the exceptions - try this article: Exceptions to Florida’s Notice To Owner Requirement. Finally, it's worth noting that many parties utilize a Notice of Intent to Lien to try and enforce payment without actually having to resort to a lien filing - and this document can be very effective. Basically, it serves as a warning shot - it informs the recipient that if payment isn't made soon, a mechanics lien will be filed on their property. Because a mechanics lien is such a drastic remedy, most recipients are not willing to call a claimant's bluff. Plus, the document may be sent regardless of whether the claimant actually intends to file a mechanics lien or is able to file a valid lien. You can read more about that document here: Notice Of Intent To Lien May Be Enough To Get You Paid.
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