Checklist For Payment Bond Claims On Private Construction Projects In Florida
As a construction contractor in Florida, you know that there are generally two strategies for securing payment for labor and/or services: Mechanic’s liens and surety bonds. For a private project, mechanic’s liens are a common tactic because they provide a security interest in the property. However, some parties may opt for a surety bond when a lien would be inappropriate or the property owner requests one. Under Florida’s statute on payment bonds for private construction projects, lower-tier contractors and suppliers have legal recourse to protect their interests if the principal refuses or fails to pay.
However, the process for seeking relief under the payment bond can be complicated – both because of the strict rules and recent changes to the laws. It is wise to trust a Palm Beach County bond claims lawyer to take the lead in enforcing your rights, but this checklist for bond claims on private projects may be useful.
Checklist for First-Tier Subcontractors and Suppliers: A payment bond involves three parties, the general contractor, property owner, and the surety company. To obtain payment under the bond, a subcontractor or supplier having a direct relationship with the GC must:
- Prepare Notice of Nonpayment: The statute covers the details on what must be included in this document, such as identification of the parties, project, and relevant amounts. The recent changes require contractors to “substantially” comply with the Notice of Nonpayment form that is now included.
- Service to Required Parties: Within 90 days after final delivery of labor, services, or materials, the sub must provide the Notice of Nonpayment to the GC and surety. Failure to serve the document bars an action to recover payment on the bond, though other legal claims may be possible.
Checklist for Lower-Tier Subcontractors and Suppliers: The process for companies not in direct privity with the GC is slightly different, but still effective for obtaining funds on a private construction payment bond.
- Prepare and Serve Notice to Contractor: This notice should identify the parties, the project, and other specifics; it should also include a statement that the sub will turn to the surety bond to protect payment. Before beginning work or within 45 days thereafter, the sub must deliver this notice to the GC in writing.
- Prepare and Serve Notice of Nonpayment: The requirements are the same for the Notice of Nonpayment, which must be served upon the GC and surety within 90 days after final furnishing of materials or labor.
Legal Action on the Payment Bond: Subcontractors that comply with these rules must file suit against the contractor and surety within one year after final provision of services or materials.
Get Additional Details from a Florida Bond Claims Attorney
Even when armed with this checklist on bond claims for private construction projects, you may put your interests at risk unless you have a skilled construction law attorney on your side. For more information on how our Florida bond claims lawyers can help, please contact Linkhorst & Hockin, P.A. to set up a consultation. Once we review your circumstances, we can advise you on options for protecting your interests.