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Lien Waiver

6 months ago

My wife is an Interior Designer in Naples, FL. We have a standard retaining agreement, but a new prospective client asks that upon final payment to us (Boutique Interiors) we sign a lien waiver. Once we get paid we’d have no reason to file a lien so at first glance I’m okay with this. Would want to make sure the wire hits our bank first. Advice?

Dave Cook
Boutique Interiors, Inc.
http://www.boutiqueinteriors.design
808 Wiggins Pass Rd, Suite 102
Naples, FL 34110
(239)349-0972 cell

Chief Legal Officer Levelset
104 reviews

Your insight is exactly right, once payment has been received there is no need to retain lien rights, so providing a waiver has no negative impact. Lien waivers work like receipts for payment, once a payment has been received (either a progress payment or final payment) the potential lien claimant then waives the ability to lien for the corresponding amount.

In many cases, property owners (or GCs) will request, and/or potential lien claimants will provide, conditional waivers prior to receipt of payment. These waivers are not effective until payment is actually received, and therefore can be used before payment hits the bank. In the event that the requested lien waiver is an unconditional waiver, it is always best practice to make sure the money is actually in the bank before providing the waiver (i.e. wire has occurred, check has cleared, cash is in hand, etc.)

Florida is one of the 12 states that provides statutory lien waiver forms, so claimants cannot be forced to use a waiver that doesn’t match the statutory form. However, parties can agree to use a different waiver, so it is always best practice to use the statutory form, or at least thoroughly examine any different form to make sure that it does not waive rights other than the right to lien.

Statutory lien waiver forms for Florida can be found here.

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Anonymous

Thank you for the detailed reply, Nate!

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