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In Florida, Is a contractor required to notify you they've filed a lien? If so, how long do they have?

FloridaLien DeadlinesMechanics Lien

I have a contractor who didn't finish work agreed upon and thus, they were not paid in full. They have filed a lien against my property. They waited 93 days to file after substantive completion of work, which is 3 days longer than statute permits. They notified me 16 days after the filing. I've heard they're required to notify you within 15 days, but haven't found statutory evidence to back that up. Can you validate this information? Best Regards, Justin Sage

1 reply

Feb 1, 2018
I'm sorry to hear about your dispute. You're correct - notice of a filed lien must be provided to the owner. Under § 713.08(4)(c) of the Florida mechanics lien statute, a claim of lien must be served on the owner within 15 days of recording the lien claim, otherwise, the lien will be rendered "voidable to the extent that the failure or delay is shown to have been prejudicial to any person entitled to rely on the service." Of course, showing that a 1 day delay was prejudicial could be an uphill battle. Further, it's possible that if there was trouble sending the notice, that notice could have been effective upon mailing. Under § 713.18(3)(a), service may be effective upon mailing if it (1) is sent to the last address shown in the notice of commencement or any amendment thereto or, in the absence of a notice of commencement, to the last address shown in the building permit application, or to the last known address of the person to be served; and (2) Is returned as being “refused,” “moved, not forwardable,” or “unclaimed,” or is otherwise not delivered or deliverable through no fault of the person serving the item.
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