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What can a brick mason do to get paid in Florida?

FloridaLien DeadlinesMechanics LienPayment DisputesPreliminary Notice

I live in Florida. I am a Brick Mason and Ive done a job through a concrete sub contractor for a general contractor here locally. I recently closed my masonry company, after 5 years, due to losing everything in a divorce. The concrete guy and the general contractor is refusing to pay me $1,700. The job is a small sub division for the city of Jacksonville, Fl. What can I do, and what are the correct legal steps that I can take to get paid? Both agreed to pay me in front of several guys that I bought with me to help out prior to doing the job, as soon as we were done. A week has passed with no payment. Ive never been in this situation before so I dont know what to do. Your help and guidance in this matter is greatly appreciated!!! Thanks!

1 reply

Aug 24, 2017
In Florida, in order to retain the right to file a lien, a preliminary notice is required to be given by all parties who do not contract directly with the property owner. This preliminary notice, called a Notice to Owner, is required *for subs* by the earlier of: (a) 45 days after first providing labor or materials; (b) 45 days when work begins on making specialty materials; (c) Before owner's final payment to prime contractor under its contract. For *Sub-Subs* the deadline is the earlier of: (a) 45 days after first commencing work or furnishing materials or (b) before final payment to sub hiring it.

In Florida, if a preliminary notice was required to be sent - lien rights are lost if the notice s not sent on time.

If less than 45 days have passed since you began work on the project, a preliminary notice could still be sent timely to protect your ability to file a lien to get paid. Liens are powerful tools to get paid, but there are strict requirements in order to be able to file one.

Otherwise, if the ability to file a valid lien has been lost, that doesn't mean that there are no avenues for recovery. A lawsuit could be filed against the party that owes you money - and since the amount in dispute here is less than $5000 the case could be filed in small claims court to streamline to process. You can find out some more information about the Florida small claims court process here:

I'm sorry to hear you're having trouble getting paid on this project and I hope you end up getting what you are owed. In the future, it may be a good idea to start sending preliminary notices on your projects to protect the right to file a lien - as a valid lien claim virtually guarantees payment.
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