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Supplier lien release being requested and subcontractor doesnt want me to release to GC

FloridaLien Waivers

I am a supplier to a sub contractor and I have a general contractor in Florida that has requested a final lien release from the sub contractor for me the supplier. The Sub contractor has paid me the supplier, but is holding my final lien release from the general contractor, because they themselves did not prepare and send a notice to owner and the General Contractor still owes (disputed amount) to the sub contractor. The general contractor is now coming to me the supplier to get a copy of the lien release that was given to the sub contractor. What do I do? I am caught in between a rock and a hard place.

1 reply

Nov 16, 2020

That's a tough situation to find yourself in, though I'm not sure it's as dire as you may think. Still, there's no single answer to solve the problem. Ultimately, it should all come down to business and relationship considerations, considering you've already been paid for your work.

For one: Since you've already been paid, doing nothing is certainly an option - it's not your fight. That way, no bridges are burned between you and your customer. Granted, it could create some friction with the GC - and if they have a large footprint in your line of materials, that could cause issues down the line. 

Another option would be to go ahead and send a copy of the lien waiver directly to the project's GC. If you've been paid and signed a lien waiver, you no longer have lien rights on the job. That's true regardless of whether your customer forwarded the signed lien waiver. What's more, if your customer failed to send an NTO and wants to use your waiver as leverage, that's not really your problem to solve and it's a bit unfair of them to pull you into the dispute.

Yet another option, and the one I find most appealing in these types of disputes, would be to contact both parties and let them know you've got no interest in being in the middle of their dispute. Stating that you've been paid, you've submitted a lien waiver, and that you consider the job closed-out could be an honorable way of bowing out of the situation while also preserving the relationship with both your customer and the GC. 

I hope this was helpful. For more discussion on Florida lien waivers: Florida Lien Waivers Guide and FAQs.

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