Unfortunately, sometimes a dispute arises between you and a homeowner with whom you contracted to perform work. His or her failure to properly pay you constitutes the dispute that occurs most often.
The Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation advises that you can file a construction lien on the home in the event such a situation arises and your contract price was $2,500 or more.
Obtaining a Notice of Commitment
At the time you obtain your building permit from the appropriate city or county, you should likewise obtain a Notice of Commitment, the document that gives you a legal right to file a lien if such becomes necessary. You then need to file or record the Notice with the clerk of the circuit court in the county where the work will take place. Thereafter, you should post a copy of it and your building permit on your job site.
Notifying the homeowner
Assuming that you need to file a lien due to the homeowner’s failure to make required periodic payments, you need to provide the homeowner with a Notice to Owner that includes the following:
- Your name and address
- A description of the job site property
- The nature of the work you performed
- The materials you furnished
Ideally, you should give this Notice to the homeowner before you file your lien. You must, in any event, give it to him or her within 45 days after you file your lien.
Enforcing your lien
Your lien remains effective for one year or until you sue the homeowner for enforcement, whichever comes first. If the homeowner wishes to contest your lien, he or she must file a Notice of Contest of Lien. In the event he or she does so, you must file your lawsuit no later than 60 days thereafter in order to preserve the validity of your lien.