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Construction Liens

Under Florida law, many of those who provide labor or materials to make improvements to your property, such as for the construction or remodeling of a home, are granted "lien" rights for items that are unpaid.

A "lien" is an encumbrance or charge against the property, similar to that created by a recorded mortgage, that may prevent a sale of the property without payment or transfer of the lien to a bond with the clerk of court. Unpaid liens may also be foreclosed, which can result in the forced sale of your home by court order.

These lien rights are not limited to your contractor, but also extend to most subcontractors, material suppliers and laborers with whom the owner has NOT contracted directly (these are called "non-private" liens). As a result, you, as an owner MAY be liable to pay for labor or materials, even though you have already paid your contractor for the same work. In other words, you many end up paying twice for the same thing!

In order to protect yourself from these liens, you should require your contractor to obtain a lien waiver or release from every person or company working or providing materials during the construction or remodeling of your home to the extent of each payment that you make to the contractor. If you receive a "Notice to Owner" (See Lien Documents below), you have an obligation to obtain a signed lien release or waiver from each person sending that notice to you each and every time you make further payments to your contractor. DO NOT MAKE ANY FURTHER PAYMENTS TO YOUR CONTRACTOR UNTIL EACH LIENOR SENDING YOU THAT NOTICE PROVIDES YOU WITH A SIGNED RELEASE OR WAIVER OF LIEN RIGHTS UP TO THE DATE OF EACH SUBSEQUENT PAYMENT TO THE CONTRACTOR.

A waiver or release may be in substantially the following form:

WAIVER AND RELEASE OF LIEN


UPON PROGRESS PAYMENT


The undersigned lienor, in consideration of the sum of $_____, hereby waives and releases its lien and right to claim a lien for labor, services, or materials furnished through (insert date) to (insert the name of your customer) on the job of (insert the name of the owner) to the following property:


(description of property)


This waiver and release does not cover any retention or labor, services, or materials furnished after the date specified.

DATED on _____, (year) .

(Lienor)

By: __________

(5) When a lienor is required to execute a waiver or release of lien in exchange for, or to induce payment of, the final payment, the waiver and release may be in substantially the following form:

WAIVER AND RELEASE OF LIEN


UPON FINAL PAYMENT


The undersigned lienor, in consideration of the final payment in the amount of $__________, hereby waives and releases its lien and right to claim a lien for labor, services, or materials furnished to (insert the name of your customer) on the job of (insert the name of the owner) to the following described property:


(description of property)


DATED on _____, (year) .

(Lienor)

By: __________

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