What are the updated requirements for lien waivers to be notarized, since Hurricane Michael

1 month ago

We are a general contractor and pay subcontractors for their services. Since hurricane Michael there have been so many scams and fraud going on. Is there legal requirements for lien waivers, either partial or unconditional, for us to protect ourself and the client from subcontractors, once payment has been made.

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The Florida lien waiver system is particularly unique when compared to other states. First and foremost, Florida is one of just 12 states that provide statutory forms for lien waivers. This is meant to simplify the process, and make the transaction fair for all parties involved. However, unlike those other 12 states, these are not technically required.

Using the Right Florida Lien Waiver Form

Parties can agree to use an alternative form if they so choose. The kicker here though, is that parties cannot be forced to use a non-statutory form, they can only agree to use an alternate form. As a general contractor in Florida, it would be likely be the better play to use the statutory form as they are (a) unconditional although can be modified to be conditional, and (b) are easier to enforce in court.

See our guides and free downloadable forms:

Best Practices for Florida Lien Waivers

As far as getting Florida lien waivers notarized, this is not required and unnecessary. Only 3 states require lien waivers to be notarized, and notarizing a statutory Florida lien waiver may actually invalidate it. Furthermore, there haven’t been any legislative amendments or updates to the requirements for lien waivers post Hurricane Michael.

The best way to protect yourself, is to properly collect and track lien waivers on every project, and keep meticulous documentation. Sometimes in the construction industry, what you can prove is more important than what actually happened. For best practices and things to look out for when collecting lien waiver, look no further than an article written by our CEO Scott Wolfe, Jr. He wrote a complete and comprehensive guide on How to Handle Requesting and Tracking Lien Waivers.

Getting lien waivers right is crucial to a general contractor’s success. Hopefully this information is helpful. If you have any other questions, feel free to post here again!

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