Construction Liens – Claim of Lien
A claim of lien is a document which is recorded in the public records to assert a lien on an owner’s real property in favor of persons who have not been paid for labor, services and/or materials furnished for a construction project. Claims of lien are governed by Florida Statues Section 713.08. That section requires that the recorded claim of lien state:
(a) The name of the lienor and the address where notices or process under this part may be served on the lienor.
(b) The name of the person with whom the lienor contracted or by whom she or he was employed.
(c) The labor, services, or materials furnished and the contract price or value thereof. Materials specially fabricated at a place other than the site of the improvement for incorporation in the improvement but not so incorporated and the contract price or value thereof shall be separately stated in the claim of lien.
(d) A description of the real property sufficient for identification.
(e) The name of the owner.
(f) The time when the first and the last item of labor or service or materials was furnished.
(g) The amount unpaid the lienor for such labor or services or materials and for unpaid finance charges due under the lienor’s contract.
(h) If the lien is claimed by a person not in privity with the owner, the date and method of service of the notice to owner. If the lien is claimed by a person not in privity with the contractor or subcontractor, the date and method of service of the copy of the notice on the contractor or subcontractor.
The claim of lien may be prepared by the lienor or the lienor’s employee or attorney and must be signed and sworn to or affirmed by the lienor or the lienor’s agent acquainted with the facts stated therein.
The claim of lien should be in substantially the form set forth in the statute and include the following warning:
WARNING! THIS LEGAL DOCUMENT REFLECTS THAT A CONSTRUCTION LIEN HAS BEEN PLACED ON THE REAL PROPERTY LISTED HEREIN. UNLESS THE OWNER OF SUCH PROPERTY TAKES ACTION TO SHORTEN THE TIME PERIOD, THIS LIEN MAY REMAIN VALID FOR ONE YEAR FROM THE DATE OF RECORDING, AND SHALL EXPIRE AND BECOME NULL AND VOID THEREAFTER UNLESS LEGAL PROCEEDINGS HAVE BEEN COMMENCED TO FORECLOSE OR TO DISCHARGE THIS LIEN.
The statute provides that the negligent inclusion or omission of any information in the claim of lien which has not prejudiced the owner does not constitute a default that operates to defeat an otherwise valid lien. The statute also provides that the omission of any of the foregoing details or errors in such claim of lien shall not, within the discretion of the trial court, prevent the enforcement of such lien as against one who has not been adversely affected by such omission or error.
A recorded claim of lien may be amended at any time during the period allowed for recording such claim of lien, provided that such amendment shall not cause any person to suffer any detriment by having acted in good faith in reliance upon such claim of lien as originally recorded. Any amendment of the claim of lien shall be recorded in the same manner as provided for recording the original claim of lien.
The claim of lien must be served on the owner. Failure to serve any claim of lien before recording, or within 15 days after recording, renders the claim of lien voidable to the extent that the failure or delay is shown to have been prejudicial to any person entitled to rely on the service. The claim of lien may be recorded at any time during the progress of the work or thereafter but not later than 90 days after the final furnishing of the labor or services or materials by the lienor. However, if the original contract is terminated, a claim for a lien attaching prior to such termination may not be recorded after 90 days following the date of such termination or 90 days after the final furnishing of labor, services, or materials by the lienor, whichever occurs first. The claim of lien must be recorded in the clerk’s office. If the real property is situated in two or more counties, the claim of lien must be recorded in the clerk’s office in both of those counties. The recording of the claim of lien is constructive notice to all persons of the contents and effect of such claim. The validity of the lien and the right to record a claim therefor is not affected by the insolvency, bankruptcy, or death of the owner before the claim of lien is recorded.