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What are our options, other than negotiating an amount to pay them to clear the NTO?

FloridaPreliminary Notice

A sub filed a NTO due to not being paid for a drywall job that we had to call another sub in to refinish. We do not owe them money due to someone else having to redo this job. What are our options, other than negotiating an amount to pay them to clear the NTO?

2 replies

May 13, 2021
A notice to owner is not a lien. It’s a routine document on a construction project. It’s not a demand for payment, a lien on the property, or a suggestion that the person who hired the notifier isn’t paying. It’s a necessary precautionary measure for the sub. The NTO benefits the owner by alerting the owner that there is a lienor who has to be considered in order to make “proper payment” under chapter 713. The owner and GC ought to understand that receiving an NTO is as routine and innocuous as having to stop at a red light. There is no process for “clearing” an NTO. The deeper question is, is there somebody demanding that an NTO be withdrawn? Whoever that person is doesn’t understand how the lien law works.
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May 14, 2021

Andy unfortunately missed the point of the question. The questioner is obviously the GC who is trying to get paid by the owner, but the owner is insisting on a lien waiver from a subcontractor who served NTO but is not owed any money. Not surprisingly, the sub who served NTO does not agree and is demanding payment the GC feels is not owed. Unfortunately there is no mechanism in the lien law to quickly and cheaply resolve this situation. Your options are: (1) pay the sub whatever "ransom" amount you can negotiate to obtain a final waiver of lien, or (2) wait until the sub's 90-day period to lien the job has expired and see if he files a lien. If not, you are in the clear. If he does, you can work with the owner to file a notice of contest of lien and wait the 60 days to see if he files suit.

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