Updates to Florida’s Construction Lien Law
One thing about the law is that it is always changing. That was recently the case with Florida’s construction lien law. On October 1, 2023, F.S. 713.001 was amended. General contractors working on projects in Florida should be aware of the following changes.
- The term “contractor” has been expanded to include architects, landscape architects, and engineers.
- “Finance charge” has a new definition, meaning “a contractually specified additional amount to be paid on an unpaid balance based on the due date set forth in the credit agreement.
Deadlines have been clarified to address holidays and emergency closure of clerk’s offices. For example, if the last day of the time period is a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, the time period is extended to the end of the next business day.
When a clerk’s office is closed in response to an emergency and makes it unable for a contractor to present a document or file an action in person, the time period is extended by the number of days the clerk’s office was closed.
Serving Lien Claims
The ways lien claims are served have also been expanded. They can be delivered:
- By hand delivery to the person to be served.
- By common carrier delivery service, by registered, Global Express Guaranteed, or certified mail with postage or shipping paid by the sender.
- By posting on the site of the improvement.
Service of a notice is effective as of the date of mailing.
The bond amount for surety for a lien must now be “an amount equal to the amount demanded in such claim of lien, plus interest thereon at the legal rate for three years, plus $5,000 or 25% of the amount demanded in the claim of lien, whichever is greater.
The parties may also recover attorneys’ fees in certain situations. This is outlined in F.S. 713.29, which states that when a party brings about any action to enforce a lien, the prevailing party is entitled to recover a reasonable fee as reimbursement for paying for an attorney’s services. The amount is to be determined by the court, and the fee must be taxed as part of the prevailing party’s costs.
Contact Us Today
As a general contractor, it can be overwhelming to know all the state laws regarding the construction industry and how they affect your job. Know your rights when it comes to liens and other areas of the law.
The Florida construction lien lawyers at Linkhorst & Hockin, P.A. can help you understand how the law applies to liens. We are knowledgeable in all lien matters and foreclosure actions. To learn more, schedule a consultation. Call 561-626-8880 or fill out the online form.