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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>In the state of Florida Is there a standard form for a "Notice of Lien" that I understand is suppose to be mailed by Certified mail 5 days prior to recording a " Claim of Lien" on a property? If not then, If I did not receive a notice of Lien by Certified mail and when the lien was filed does that make the lien invalid? If so what can I do to have the Lien removed?

In the state of Florida Is there a standard form for a "Notice of Lien" that I understand is suppose to be mailed by Certified mail 5 days prior to recording a " Claim of Lien" on a property? If not then, If I did not receive a notice of Lien by Certified mail and when the lien was filed does that make the lien invalid? If so what can I do to have the Lien removed?

FloridaBonding Off LienDefectsLawsuitMechanics Lien

A roof contraction did not install my roof as per Florida Codes nor as per my contract and made a mess of my roof. I just had 2 Certified Building Roof Inspections and both state the same and then some, such as not installing as the contract stated with drip edge and vents. I sent certified letters demanding the work be corrected and completed but the contractor only wants my money. A subcontracted County inspector signed off on the job passing the roof, despite that he did not even go on the roof and inspect it and despite the disaster on my roof, gutters and downspouts. The Contractor filed a Lien on May 3rd but the notary signatures state, May 4th! and did not send me a Notice of Lien by Certified mail. I want to sell the property but I cannot legally and ethically because of the roof. I cannot hire the new contractor to replace the roof because of the lien. So if I can have the lien removed because of a technicality that there was no Notice documented or filed, then I can get the new roof installed and have the property "Bonded off", if I need to to sell it if the contractor puts another Lien on it. The /contractor hired a Attorney who has filed a Foreclosure Lien Nov. 30th. They did not serve me the summons which has expired as of March 2019. Now the controversial Lien that the contractor had recorded in May 3 2018 will expire in 2019. So I was wondering how that effects this case? And since the Notary was dated May 4, 2018 which is the day after it was recorded? I just want to get my new roof installed before I have to go to court that shows I needed to get a new roof and that I can sell it. I am trying to negotiate a settlement with the contractors attorney to pay my damages that are now over $15, 000.00 with the extra $8,000.00 difference in the cost of the new contractor roof to be installed. This does not cover any other unforeseen damages that the roof contractor caused to my under area of the pan roof. This roof contractor only wants money and abandoned the job. I have a letter prepared to send his attorney. Are you allowed to review the letter? If the attorney refuses to settle out of court, I am now prepared to go to court to settle this and get paid for the damages. The regular Lee County inspectors have refuse to come back for over a year and reinspect my roof, despite all my emails and calls and mailed letters with the photos of the major problem areas. They just ignore me and/or refuse to come and properly inspect the roof that has big 4" x3" holes in the sides, and rats entered and went into the wall, and the wind blows up under the TPO roof and sounds like snap crack pop. It is all so pathetic and ridiculous. I reported it to Florida Dept. of Business and Professional Regulations and The County Commissioner and they just push me to the side and say they cannot do anything. So I am very aggravated and frustrated at this point, when all I wanted was a new roof, but I got what looks like a big diaper on top of my house. This roof situation is ruining my life and wasting my time and stressing me out to the point of who knows. All, I just wanted a new properly installed roof and to pay for it. I need to get the inspectors to come back and resend the "pass" to a fail. So how can I get some Governmental force or law action to make them do that. I will have the Professional Roof inspections with the codes. So who can I contact who would make them realize that this is a serious matter. I would like to sue them but there is another nightmare when all I want is peace.

1 reply

Apr 30, 2019
I'm very sorry to hear about all of that. I can't imagine how much of a nightmare the whole situation has been. We've got a lot of ground to cover, so bear with me - I'll indicate a topic-change by bolding the start of the sentence since I'm not able to use line breaks. First, let's discuss the notice of lien question. In Florida, there is no requirement for a notice of intent to lien or similar document to be sent prior to a lien filing. Notice that a lien was filed (often referred to as a "notice of lien") must be sent within 15 days of the lien filing itself, or it may be sent shortly before the lien is filed. This notice is commonly made by personal delivery, or by registered or certified mail with return receipt requested - but other methods of sending the notice may still be effective. However, there is not requirement that the notice be sent prior to the lien filing. Regardless - if a mechanics lien was filed and notice of the filed lien wasn't given on time, that may affect the validity of the lien. To the extent that someone is prejudiced by the lack of notice, the lien claim may be voidable by the failure to send timely notice. But, if an owner wasn't actually harmed by the failure to send notice/the sending of late notice, it might be hard to argue the lien should be voided. Regarding notarization, Florida mechanics liens must be notarized in order to be considered valid. In a situation where the lien document was not properly notarized, an owner may be able to argue that the lien filing was improper due to a failer to have the document properly notarized. But, to the extent that a notarization issue was outside of the control of the claimant, fallout due to an improper notarization might fall on the notary rather than the claimant. But, mechanics liens are often invalidated due to minor technicalities, so it might be worthwhile to explore the potential for a notarization issue to ruin an otherwise valid claim. Another important factor to look at is the mechanics lien deadlines - both for filing the lien, and for enforcing/foreclosing the filed lien. In Florida, a lien claimant must file their lien within 90 days of last furnishing labor or materials. When this lien filing deadline is missed, a subsequently filed lien will generally be deemed invalid and unenforceable. The lien enforcement deadline is very strict, as well. In Florida, this deadline will be 1 year from the date the lien was recorded. So, if 1 full year has not passed since the lien was filed, it may be possible to file a lien enforcement/foreclosure action. Regarding a previous attempt at enforcing the lien that failed due to failure to provide a summons - failure to serve a summons prior to the deadline (within 120 days) may enable the unserved party to file a motion to dismiss to have the action set aside, but it might be possible for the claimant to take another crack at filing an enforcement suit if there's time prior to the deadline. It's also worth noting that if the plaintiff made an effort to serve a summons, they might be entitled to an exception to the statute of limitations. The Florida Bar has more information on this idea here: The 120-Day Rule. As for our ability to review a letter to the claimant's attorney - we cannot provide legal review or legal advice, so we won't be able to review your letter to the lien claimant's attorney. However, securing representation for merely sending a threat letter or reviewing such a letter might not be particularly expensive, if an attorney would accept the work. Regarding the possiblity of bonding off a filed lien - in Florida, a mechanics lien claim can be bonded off either before or after an action to enforce the lien has been brought. Note, though, that when a lien is transferred to a bond when an action to enforce the lien is ongoing, the deadline to enforce the claim against the bond will be extended - providing both more time to try and resolve the claim, or more time to mount an enforcement action. Finally, regarding getting the attention of the inspector, it may be tough to hold a state, county, or municipal inspector legally liable for their shortcomings, even when glaring. Generally, public entities will be immune from that sort of action. Though, threatening legal action unless someone will come out and re-inspect the roof might work to get the inspector's attention. Including pictures that show the inadequacy of the construction might also help to bring attention to the matter. Another way to bring governmental attention to the issue might be to file a complaint with the Florida Attorney General's Office. Finally, note that filing a suit against the contractor for defective work might also work toward making an owner whole after their property is damaged by construction defects, and many lawyers are well versed in Florida's construction defects laws. It might be possible to have an attorney evaluate the case for free or at a discount. But regardless, considering the complexity of this situation, the amounts involved, and that litigation has already been pursued over the filed lien claim - it would be wise to consult a local construction or real estate attorney. They will be able to review the circumstances in further depth, as well as any documentation or communications, and advise on how best to proceed. Good luck!
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