There is a wide range of legal issues in the construction industry. A construction law dispute may involve informal settlements, mediation, arbitration, litigation, and appeals. Construction liens are but one aspect of the number of other security interests liens associated with the construction industry. According to Florida law, people who do construction work on a property or provide materials have a right to enforce a claim for payment against the property if they are not paid-in-full for their services or goods.
Companies and contractors often do their work based on contractual obligations and expect to be paid for the work they have done or the materials they have provided. When companies, contractors, and subcontractors are not paid, there can be significant legal issues and disagreements.
It is important for everyone involved to have legal representation from the beginning of a construction project and have a clear understanding of the numerous and necessary steps associated with recovering debts. Construction lien law is complicated with various building permits and multiple forms and expiration dates. A construction law specialist has the knowledge, skills, and experience to help you navigate the maze of construction laws.
Construction Liens And Florida Law
One cause of complexities in the construction industry is the many layers of contractors and subcontractors involved in any construction project. Larger construction projects have greater numbers of contractors and subcontractors, each submitting invoices in every billing cycle. Sometimes, owners or lenders dispute an amount on an invoice and reject it altogether or set it aside for further review. This can impede the accounting processes resulting in slow or no payments to contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers. At some point, a Claim of Lien may be filed in an effort to obtain payment for the debt owed for services or materials.
These debt issues could be settled through negotiation and without going to court. When the case progresses into the legal system, a construction lien must be filed within 90 days of:
- The last date the contractor supplied labor or materials, or
- The date of the termination of the original contract.
Florida has strict laws regarding liens such as the formatting of the document, as well as specific information and warnings that must be included in the lien. The construction lien must be recorded in the county clerk’s office and a copy must be served on the property owner before filing or within 15 days of filing.
Once the construction lien is recorded in the county clerk’s office, it remains in effect and is an encumbrance for one year from the date the lien was originally recorded. The person or entity that filed the original construction lien must file a lawsuit or foreclose the lien within the one-year time period to extend the life of the lien.
For assistance with construction law situations, having legal guidance and representation from a construction lawyer is key to resolving any issues related to construction law, including the construction lien laws. Given the unwieldly construction laws in Tallahassee, Florida and the web of contractors and subcontractors involved in construction projects, it is important to have an experienced construction law certified lawyer who can evaluate your situation and develop a strategy specific to your unique circumstances to successfully resolve a construction law claim.
The construction industry is a diverse field replete with different professionals, workers, companies, and entities. In this vast arena, it is vital to be legally protected from disputes, liens, breaches of contract, employment issues, and other liabilities. Anyone who is involved in the construction industry should understand the legal issues that can arise in their line of work or endeavors. If you are involved in the construction industry or plan to be, enlisting an attorney who has in-depth experience in this field should be at the top of your list.
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