"what "should I do about getting paid.

5 months ago

I did a sub job with a signed contract and the day of payment the site manager fired me.

Senior Legal Associate Levelset
132 reviews

When unpaid for construction work, subs will potentially have a few different options for recovery. Let’s break down a few options below.

Less formal options

For one, sending a document like a demand letter or a Notice of Intent to Lien can be helpful to recover payment. While these aren’t official claims processes, they let recipients know that you’re serious about recovering payment and that legal claims or a mechanics lien will be pursued if payment isn’t made. Note that a Notice of Intent to Lien can be particularly helpful when sent to both the customer and the property owner. When an owner is aware of a payment dispute, and when their property title is put in jeopardy by the potential of a lien claim, they tend to put additional pressure on their contractors and project managers to resolve payment issues.

More on that document here: What Is a Notice of Intent to Lien and Should You Send One?

Filing a mechanics lien

For one, a mechanics lien may be the most powerful tool available (as long as a Notice to Owner was sent). Mechanics liens encumber the property title of the project property, and they force payment in a number of ways (we found 17). And, because owners hate having to deal with liens, a mechanics lien claimant can often negotiate payment before further action on the lien is necessary.

For more background on who can file Florida mechanics liens and how to file a lien claim, here are two great resources: (1) Florida Mechanics Lien Guide and FAQs; and (2) How to File A Florida Mechanics Lien – Step By Step Guide To Get You Paid.

Other recovery options

Naturally, even if a mechanics lien claim isn’t available or isn’t the best option for you, there are other recovery options that may be more suitable. Any time there’s a contract in place, but that contract isn’t honored, a breach of contract action may be available. Further, when terminated out of the blue, a wrongful termination action may be on the table, too. And, Florida’s prompt payment laws may serve as yet another option for proceeding with legal claims.

And, just like with threatening a mechanics lien – threatening to take specific legal action can help to force payment without the need for actual legal action.

Disclaimer: The information presented here is not legal advice and should not be construed as such. Rather, this content is provided for informational purposes. Do not act on this information as if it is advice. Further, this post does not create any attorney-client relationship. If you do need legal advice, seek the help of a local attorney.
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