5 Ways a Mechanic’s Lien Ensures You Get Paid
Any business owner may encounter hassles in getting paid for the services or products provided to another company, and these disputes often end up in breach of contract litigation. However, if you work in the Florida construction industry, you have an edge under state law: The statute on construction liens outlines a process through which you can attach your financial interest to the property itself, giving more “teeth” to your demands for payment. A mechanics lien is your way of telling other parties that you have a stake in the property that affects their own interests.
The legal process for filing a lien is extremely complicated, so you should consult with a Florida construction lien lawyer regarding the strict rules with which you must comply to protect your rights. Still, it is important to understand just how a mechanics lien gets you paid.
- A lien encumbers the property. In any context, a lien is negative mark on property that affects the ability of an owner to sell it. In construction, a mechanics lien also affects the interests of a general contractor who may be required to defend or indemnify the owner. Lenders are also impacted because mechanics liens relate back in time to when work began, so they may have priority over other security interests – and must get paid first.
- Liens are attention-grabbing. If you are a subcontractor or in further off in terms of privity of contract, a mechanics lien is a strategy for making a property owner and/or lender aware of a nonpayment situation. Your encumbrance is a red flag that the general contractor may not be getting the job done in other areas besides paying you.
- A mechanic’s lien is hard to contest. The laws on construction liens are well-established in Florida, so it would be difficult for a contractor, lender, or owner to challenge your security interest. The caveat is that you need to follow the statutory requirements to the letter when relying on a mechanics lien to get paid.
- You can set a firm deadline for payment. At times, the problem with your request for payment is delays instead of refusal. When you have a mechanics lien in place, you can set a definite date by which payment must be submitted. Your recourse is filing a lawsuit for breach, so deadlines tend to motivate others.
- You can recover attorneys’ fees and costs. If you are forced to litigate your claim, Florida construction liens laws allow you to seek reasonable attorneys’ fees. These are taxed as costs to be paid by the breaching party.
Trust a Florida Construction Lien Attorney for Legal Help
These are just a few of the factors related to how mechanics liens give heft to your demands for payment as a construction contractor. Our team at Linkhorst & Hockin, P.A. can explain additional benefits regarding construction liens, so please contact our office right away today to schedule a consultation. We serve clients throughout Palm Beach County in a wide array of construction law issues, and we are happy to advise you.