Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>We have already paid contractor but he has not paid sub-contract. I am required to pay twice for same job ?

We have already paid contractor but he has not paid sub-contract. I am required to pay twice for same job ?

FloridaLawsuitLien ForeclosureMechanics Lien

We are non-profit and have already paid contractor for the full amount and have records to prove it. We were not aware of lien waver and did not collect it. Apparently he has not paid sub-contractor. We received "claim lien" and contacted contractor. He said is he is handling it. 3 months laterwe are facing lawsuit. Are you required to pay twice for the same job (including attorney fees)

2 replies

Jul 24, 2019
I'm really sorry to hear about that. In Florida, a subcontract may be able to file a valid and enforceable mechanics lien even when full payment was made to the prime contractor, depending on whether the payment procedures set out in the Florida mechanics lien statute were followed. Meaning, an owner might end up paying twice for the same work in some situations. However, without more information, it's hard to know whether a lien claimant would be entitled to a "Full Price Lien" despite their contractor being paid in full.

It's worth noting that when a mechanics lien has been filed, and especially when suit has been filed on that lien, it'd be wise to consult, if not hire, a local construction or real estate attorney. They'll be able to dive into all of the relevant circumstances and documentation and advise on how best to move forward.

It's also worth noting that an owner might be able to pay a lien claimant directly, then turn around and recover that payment from the contractor who was supposed to make payment. It's not necessarily the cheapest or easiest option, but where a lien enforcement action has been undertaken, it might help avoid putting the property title in jeopardy. But, regardless of whether payment is made to the lien claimant, it'd generally be a good idea to bring the contractor into the suit since they're the ones who failed to make payment, if they aren't a party to the lawsuit already.

Further, an owner might be able to release their property title from the lien claim by having the lien bonded off. Plus, in a situation where an owner has paid their contractor in full but that contractor has failed to pay their subs, an owner may be able to force their contractor to bond off the lien themselves. Of course, a lien enforcement action may complicate things here. So, for clarity on whether that's a viable option, or for help compelling a contractor to bond off the lien, a local construction or real estate attorney should be able to clear things up.

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Aug 16, 2020
I’m a subcontractor and I have a contract signed and witnessed from the General Contractor and us. The contract was awarded to us then without notification a different sub was brought in to start the project. They started and finished the project without my knowing and we didn’t bid any other projects due to being tied down to that particular contract. I had employees sitting at home waiting to start that job for over 12 weeks. I had to help these employees get through tough times to keep them on standby only to discover the project was completed by someone else. What are my options?
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