Compliance with Florida’s Construction Lien Law can be difficult since it has long been recognized as one of the most complicated and confusing of all laws in Florida. The Construction Lien Law is strictly construed. In other words, to perfect a construction lien, a lienor “must be certain it strictly complies with the statutory provisions by which it seeks affirmative relief.” WMS Construction, Inc. v. Palm Springs Mile Assoc., Ltd., 762 So. 2d 973 (Fla. 3d DCA 2000). Section 713.37, Florida Statutes, specifically provides “this part shall not be subject to a rule of liberal construction in favor of any person to whom it applies.”
Helpful tips to perfect a construction lien:
- Timely Serve a Notice to Owner. The Construction Lien Law requires sub-contractors, sub-sub-contractors and materialmen supplying materials to anyone on the construction project (other than the owner) to timely serve a notice to owner.
- Timely Record Construction Liens. All lienors must timely record a construction lien.
- Use Statutory Forms. It is important to use the correct statutory forms (courts have invalidated construction liens that did not use the statutory forms). The use of improper forms by out-of-state notice preparation companies have resulted in otherwise valid liens being invalidated.
- Timely File Foreclosure Actions. To foreclose on a construction lien, the action must be filed within one year of the recording of the lien.
If the lienor uses the proper statutory forms and complies with the legal time limits, the construction lien will be perfected, thus increasing the likelihood of getting paid!
This information presents the general scheme of Florida’s Construction Lien Law as of May 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.