If you work in the construction sector, you have probably had to deal with an unpaying client at one point or another. After all, there are a variety of reasons why clients may refuse to pay, due to perceived issues with the quality of work, issues with accessing the necessary funds, or more.
Obviously, if you complete a substantial amount of work on a project, you deserve to receive compensation. To increase your chances of receiving payment, it makes sense to have a strong construction contract. This contract should tell your clients exactly when they must pay for the work you have completed.
If a client refuses to pay, you might need to put a mechanic’s lien on the property. According to Florida law, a mechanic’s lien gives you a legal claim to the property. Before the owner can sell the property and take the proceeds from the sale, they must take care of the lien. That is, you must receive payment.
There are several pros and cons to mechanic’s liens, so you might want to think carefully before you put one on a property.
If you want to use liens, though, you must provide notice to property owners. Indeed, state law requires you to notify property owners if the value of your anticipated work is $2,500 or more. Your construction contract might be a good place to give notice.
Giving notice is only one part of exercising your mechanic’s liens rights, of course. Ultimately, to fully protect yourself, consulting with a construction law attorney may be in your best interests to comply with the law and protect your rights.