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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>I am a person in Florida that has been taking care of a property that the owner claimes he will pay the remaining fees upon sale of the property. The property is in contract and the property has not returned my calls. The services are pool maint, lawn maint and property clean up. the service fees are $1500 a month for the RV Park with the owner only paying $550.00 a month. There is nothing in the contract for sale to address the remaining fees. Over the last 5 year the remaining fees $62,700. How do I file to get the funds upon closing and/or have on record

I am a person in Florida that has been taking care of a property that the owner claimes he will pay the remaining fees upon sale of the property. The property is in contract and the property has not returned my calls. The services are pool maint, lawn maint and property clean up. the service fees are $1500 a month for the RV Park with the owner only paying $550.00 a month. There is nothing in the contract for sale to address the remaining fees. Over the last 5 year the remaining fees $62,700. How do I file to get the funds upon closing and/or have on record

FloridaMechanics LienPayment DisputesRecovery Options

Working As manager for RV Park. Agreement was lodging, utilities and $1500 a month for services. Owner gave lodging, utilities and $550 a month indicating the remaining (sweat labor) would be paid upon sale of property. There in nothing in the sale contract to indicate my remaining payment. Want to file lein on property.

1 reply

May 21, 2018
There may be a few obstacles here regarding the availability of mechanics lien rights. First, it's important to look at whether the work provided was "lienable" to begin with. In Florida, lien rights are pretty broadly available compared to other states. Still, mechanics liens are limited to work that provides some permanent improvement to the property. While something like "planting for landscaping purposes" would likely qualify as an improvement to a property, mere lawn maintenance would not serve as a basis for mechanics lien rights (more on that idea, here: Scenario: Can Landscapers File A Mechanics Lien?). That concept applies to other work, too - if the work performed merely maintained the property in its current state, it would likely not be lienable. For work that may be be lienable, Florida law requires that all lien claimants file their mechanics lien within 90 days of the date they last supplied labor or materials. So, only work performed 90 days prior to the lien filing could be included in a mechanics lien claim. Regardless of whether lien rights will be available for certain claims, sending a more official demand for payment could help speed up payment. Doing so through an attorney often shows a nonpaying party that a claimant is serious about recovery. Further, threatening specific legal action - such as a breach of contract claim or an unjust enrichment claim - can help as well. In addition to a demand for payment, a document like a Notice of Intent to Lien can be helpful, regardless of whether a valid filed mechanics lien can be filed. A Notice of Intent to Lien is not a required part of the mechanics lien filing process in Florida, but it is an effective one. It serves as a warning shot: if payment isn't made, a lien will be filed. Even where a claimant does not intend to file a lien (or if they might not be able to file a lien for some reason), a property owner might not be willing to call that bluff. While lien claims may or may not ultimately be an available remedy, filing a lawsuit for breach of contract or for unjust enrichment might be an available option. Ultimately, considering the amount of money on the table and the impending sale, it might be wise to reach out to a local Florida construction, real estate, or labor attorney - they'll be able to review the circumstances surrounding your situation and provide insight on how to move forward.
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