Construction Liens – Liens for Subdivision Improvements
According to Florida Statutes Section, 713.04, any lienor, whether they have a contract with the owner or not, who performs services or furnishes material to real property for the purpose of making it suitable as the site for the construction of an improvement or improvements is entitled to a lien on the real property for any money that is owed to her or him for her or his services or materials furnished in accordance with her or his contract and the direct contract. The total amount of liens allowed under this section cannot exceed the amount of the direct contract under which the lienor furnishes labor, materials, or services. The work of making real property suitable as the site of an improvement includes but shall not be limited to the grading, leveling, excavating, and filling of land, including the furnishing of fill soil; the grading and paving of streets, curbs, and sidewalks; the construction of ditches and other area drainage facilities; the laying of pipes and conduits for water, gas, electric, sewage, and drainage purposes; and the construction of canals and also includes the altering, repairing, and redoing of all these things.
When the services or materials are placed on land dedicated to public use and are furnished under a contract with the owner of the abutting land, the cost of the services and materials, if unpaid, may be the basis for a lien upon the abutting land. When the services or materials are placed upon land under a contract with the owner of the land who subsequently dedicates parts of the land to public use, the person furnishing the services or materials placed upon the dedicated land is entitled to a lien upon the land abutting the dedicated land for the unpaid cost of the services and materials placed upon the dedicated land, or in the case of improvements that serve or benefit real property that is divided by the improvements, to a lien upon each abutting part for the equitable part of the full amount due and owing. If the part of the cost to be borne by each parcel of the land subject to the same lien is not specified in the contract, it will be prorated equitably among the parcels served or benefited.
The lien under this section is not acquired until a claim of lien is recorded. No notice of commencement needs to be filed for liens under this section. A lienor providing subdivision improvements is not required to serve a notice to owner to claim a lien under this section.
The owner cannot pay any money on account of a direct contract before the actual furnishing of labor and services or materials for subdivision improvements. Any payment not complying with such requirement shall not qualify as a proper payment under Chapter 713. The owner shall make final payment on account of a direct contract only after the contractor provides a Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit which complies with Section 713.06(3)(d). Any payment not complying with such requirement shall not qualify as a proper payment under Chapter 713. Thus, the property owner may end up paying twice for subdivision improvements if improper payments are made prior to the actual furnishing of labor or materials or receiving a Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit.