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A notice to owner is deemed served upon mailing when it is properly mailed to the last address shown in the notice of commencement or any amendment thereto, or if none, to the last address shown in the Building Permit Application, or to the last known address of the person to be served if the item is returned from the postal service marked “refused,” “moved, not forwardable,” or “unclaimed” or is otherwise not delivered or deliverable through no fault of the person serving it. § 713.18(3)(a), Florida Statutes.

This provision was added to the construction lien law because lienors typically rely upon the information in the notice of commencement for the improvement to prepare and serve notices to owner. Although owners are typically required to record notices of commencement and there is a statutory form, many of the notices of commencement contain incomplete or inaccurate addresses. As a result of the owner providing an incomplete or inaccurate address in the notice of commencement, notices to owner are often returned by the United States Postal Service. In addition, if an owner refuses to accept delivery of a notice to owner or the notice to owner remains unclaimed at the post office or a post office box, the lienor has no ability to serve the notice to owner. Ultimately, this situation demonstrated the need for such a statutory provision. 

This information presents the general scheme of Florida’s Construction Lien Law as of August 2021. The Construction Lien Law is constantly being amended; therefore, this material should not be relied upon in place of experienced legal advice in specific situations. This material is copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without written permission from Barry Kalmanson, Esq.

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