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Florida Lien Law

Step-by-step information for subcontractors and material suppliers.

Florida’s requirements for preserving lien rights are some of the strictest in the United States. In order to record a Claim of Lien, subcontractors and material suppliers must file a Notice to Owner within 45 days from the first day of work or delivery of materials on a construction project.

Submitting a Notice to Owner is a critical first step you need to take now regardless of whether there’s a payment issue on a construction job, so you can record a lien if payment is not received.

Here are the steps you need to take in order to protect your rights under Florida’s construction lien law.

  • Step 1: If you are a potential lienor who does not have a direct contract with the owner, you must send a Notice to Owner within 45 days of first starting work or delivering materials. The notice must be received by the owner by the 45th day for you to retain lien rights.
  • Step 2: Record a Claim of Lien within 90 days from the date of last work or delivery of materials. Send a copy to the general contractor and owner within 15 days of the lien’s recording.
  • Step 3: File a lawsuit (foreclose) on the property within 365 days from the lien recording date. The deadline to foreclose is shortened to 60 days, if the owner files a Notice of Contest of Lien.

Perfecting a Claim of Lien is an effective method of protecting your company’s revenue, because it gives you leverage on the property. The lien attaches to the property, which cannot be sold or mortgaged until the lien is resolved.

Florida’s construction lien law is complex and cannot be covered completely in this section. We recommend that whenever a specific problem arises you consult an attorney.

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