I've already submitted a NTO for a job, and have received a re-recorded NOC due to owners re-locating. Do I need to resend a NTO for the updated owner address?
Aug 1, 2019
That's an excellent question, and I don't think it's one we've gotten here at the Expert Center before. Because this is a relatively rare situation, the Florida mechanics lien statute doesn't specifically provide guidance on the situation you described above. But, some inferences can be drawn...
1. Not included, not required
Put simply - there isn't anything in Florida's lien statute that specifically requires a new Notice to Owner be sent when a new Notice of Commencement is filed. In fact, there's nothing in the Florida lien statute that requires a revised preliminary notice in any situation. Thus, the mere fact that a new Notice of Commencement has been filed likely doesn't necessitate a new Notice to Owner.
2. Florida's Notice to Owner requirements don't directly tie to the Notice of Commencement
Further, it's worth noting that a Florida Notice to Owner doesn't directly tie to the Notice of Commencement. The notice must be sent within 45 days of first furnishing, and generally a Notice of Commencement will be filed before that date. However, there's no direct time requirement between the two, and nothing in the Notice to Owner requirements indicates that the notice is in any way bound by the Notice of Commencement filing. That is, outside of the fact that a party sending a Notice to Owner can rely on the Notice of Commencement. But, since a Notice to Owner must be sent within 45 days of first furnishing regardless of whether any Notice of Commencement is ever filed, that seems to indicate that the Notice to Owner isn't reliant on the Notice of Commencement, and changes to the Notice of Commencement shouldn't affect the Notice to Owner.
Based on the absence of a specific requirement for an updated Notice to Owner, and based on the fact that the Florida Notice to Owner and Notice of Commencement requirements aren't particularly intertwined, it seems as though an updated Notice to Owner isn't required simply because the Notice of Commencement is updated.
However, if the original Notice to Owner wasn't actually given to the correct parties at the time it was sent, it would still be important to make sure that all of the necessary parties actually received a Notice to Owner. But, keep in mind - if a notice is sent to the owner via mail within the first 40 days of furnishing, that notice is presumed to have been timely received. Though, again - if the owner didn't actually receive the notice, that'd be problematic.