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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>I did multiple jobs like I do every year for a homeowner, through their "property MGMNT resource", and all the sudden she freaked out this year and said im not getting paid for anything, approx $15,000+, right before XMAS eve and now im evicted from my home and really in trouble here, where can I get help?

I did multiple jobs like I do every year for a homeowner, through their "property MGMNT resource", and all the sudden she freaked out this year and said im not getting paid for anything, approx $15,000+, right before XMAS eve and now im evicted from my home and really in trouble here, where can I get help?

FloridaRecovery OptionsRight to Lien

I did multiple jobs like I do every year now (over 5 years straight), for 2 particular homeowners, through their "property MGMNT resource", and all the sudden she (Prop MGR) freaked out this year and said im not getting paid for anything, approx $15,000+, right before XMAS eve and now im evicted from my home, amongst many other horrible consequences since I was 100% counting on every penny, and I am really in trouble here, where can I get help? Apparently I don't qualify for the Liens since I never gave them the (Step 1 of 3) Notice of working in your home thing....which I DEF will now to every soul on earth - IF my entire biz and life are not ruined, which as of now they really both are....Just the worst timing possible for this. I have loads and loads of evidence and they both still have $1,000's in equipment alone sitting in their homes, of which I have the serial #s, boxes, etc for.......Please tell me something I can do....Thank you

1 reply

Jan 21, 2019
There's a lot going on here, so I'm going to cover a lot of ground - bear with me! First, mechanics liens are usually the strongest remedy possible when it comes to construction payment recovery. Of course, there are deadlines and requirements that must be followed in order to preserve the right to lien - including preliminary notice rules (which we discuss in this article: Florida’s Notice to Owner (NTO) Requirement). However, those notice rules don't apply to everyone. There's a chance that notice was not required, and therefore, that filing mechanics liens would not be prohibited simply due to the failure to provide notice. For one, parties that are hired directly by the property owner are not required to send a Notice to Owner. For another, laborers, regardless of who they're hired by, do not need to send Notice to Owner. The Florida mechanics lien statute (at § 713.01(16)) defines a laborer as "any person other than an architect, landscape architect, engineer, surveyor and mapper, and the like who, under properly authorized contract, personally performs on the site of the improvement labor or services for improving real property and does not furnish materials or labor service of others." Thus, if that definition fits, there's a strong chance a claimant could file their lien despite not having first sent notice. For the other Florida mechanics lien rules and requirements, these resources should be helpful: (1) Florida Lien & Notice FAQs, and (2) How to File a Florida mechanics lien. Finally, it's worth mentioning that when work is performed on separate properties, typically, separate lien claims would be necessary, which zlien discusses here: Can You Group Multiple Projects and Properties Into One Mechanics Lien? Further, regardless of whether the claimant has a valid and enforceable right to lien, the mere threat of lien is often enough to force payment. This is often done via a Notice of Intent to Lien, which zlien discusses further in this article: What is a Notice of Intent to Lien? Outside of the mechanics lien process, there are also a number of potential options - including legal action under a breach of contract or unjust enrichment theories, to name two options. Before taking legal action (or when legal action is unfeasible), merely threatening that legal action might work to force payment - especially where that threat is sent via attorney. Finally, while it might not be an option to recover everything that's owed, claimants can use small claims court for efficient access to Florida Courts, though claims cannot exceed $5,000 in Florida small claims court. As for recovering equipment - complaining to the sheriff that equipment has been stolen or at least that the owner refuses to allow you to recover it could help to get that equipment back.
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