Is it to late for notice to owner

3 weeks ago

I’ve been on a project for 3 months on Florida is it to late to send notice to owner and if so how do I ensure I will be paid. I think there’s a payment bond on the job it’s a 7 million project?

Senior Legal Associate Levelset

Florida is very strict when it comes to Notice to Owner requirements. In Florida, parties hired by someone other than the property owner must send a Notice to Owner within 45 days of first furnishing labor or materials to the project. Otherwise, the right to later file a mechanics lien will typically be lost.

Note, though, that if a payment bond is present – recovery methods and notice requirements will change a bit.

Notice requirements for Florida private projects that have payment bonds

A claimant must typically still send notice when the project is bonded. Generally, a Notice to Contractor must be sent within 45 days of first furnishing. The notice is very similar to a Notice to Owner, and sometimes even combined with the document. However, this requirement is only in place if a copy of the project’s payment bond was included along with the Notice of Commencement filed for the job.

If a copy of the bond was not included along with the Notice of Commencement, then the claimant will only need to send notice within 45 days of their receiving a copy of the bond. Of course, the traditional bond claim deadline will apply. And, a claimant must make their bond claim (“Notice of Nonpayment”) within 90 days of last furnishing labor or material to the job.

Filing a bond claim on a private construction project

They aren’t terribly common, but payment bonds on private projects aren’t unheard of either. When a private project is bonded, recovery will come against the payment bond rather than filing a mechanics lien claim against the property, itself.

Generally, this means that a notice of the claim is sent to the relevant parties (i.e. the owner, contractor, and surety) so they’re aware of a payment issue. Upon receipt of the claim, the surety will generally initiate an investigation into the situation and make a determination as to whether payment must be made. You can read more about that here: How to Get Paid – Next Steps After Filing a Bond Claim.

Additional resources

If you’d like to read more about the bond claim process in general, I think these resources will also be valuable:

– Payment Bonds on Private Construction Projects
– How To Make A Florida Payment Bond Claim
– Florida Notice of Nonpayment – Important Changes to the Bond Claim Process
– How Does the Payment [Surety] Bond Claim Process Work? Requirements and Mistakes to Avoid

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