Florida’s Construction Lien Statute – Easily Navigating the Dense Code of Construction Lien Law

This article focuses on the actual structure of Florida’s construction lien statute to lend an understanding of its breadth, limitations, and organization. Florida’s construction lien statute is also known as Florida’s “Construction Lien Law.” It is embodied in Florida Statutes Chapter 713 titled Construction Liens. This may help readers quickly navigate approximately 50 pages of dense code in Florida’s construction lien statute. If you have any questions about a specific provision or right under Florida’s construction lien statute, please contact Bernhard Law Firm at www.bernhardlawfirm.com, 786-871-3349, abernhard@bernhardlawfirm.com.

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Overview of Florida’s Construction Lien Statute: Chapter 713 and the “Construction Lien Law”

Florida Statutes Chapter 713, is the place to go to start any inquiry into Florida law on liens. Florida Statutes Chapter 713 holds the base rules for construction liens, oil and gas liens, lien registration, and miscellaneous liens ranging from crops to cars, animals to apartment houses. Note that condo and HOA assessment liens and other certain groups are specified elsewhere (e.g. Chapter 718 and 720 for those specific groups).

The Florida Legislature has allocated the first 46 sections of Chapter 713 (Florida’s construction lien statute) to construction liens alone. This provides some insight into the importance of construction in the Florida economy. It also shows the quantity of disputes that have arisen from nonpayment of construction services and attempts to recoup payment through construction liens. Although construction liens carry 46 sections, their numbering only spans Florida Statutes sections 713.001 to 713.37 (i.e. Florida’s construction lien statute). This means there are several additional sections that have been carved within the code over the years. See, e.g., 713.3471 on lender responsibilities within construction loans. These oddly numbered sections likely reflect a particularly contentious area of construction liens that required creation of additional provisions. They may also be more recent structural organization within the code. The whole of the sections allocated to construction liens, numbered 713.001 to 713.37, is known as the “Construction Lien Law” or Florida’s construction lien statute.

The First 18 Sections of Florida’s Construction Lien Statute: The Basics of Construction Liens

The first 18 sections of Florida’s construction lien statute deal with basic concepts of liens. It addresses their prior contractual origination, priority, claiming process, extent, and notices of commencement and termination. See Florida Statutes §§ 713.001 to 713.132. This is a good place to start for an understanding of Florida’s approach to the construction liening process. These sections give entry-level knowledge of Florida’s construction lien statute.

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The Next 7 Sections of Florida’s Construction Lien Statute: On-The-Ground Business Matters

The next 7 sections of Florida’s construction lien statute deal with more on-the-ground construction business activity. These address matters like unused construction materials, accounts for materials, supplier and subcontractor lists, and serving notices. See Florida Statutes §§ 713.135 to 713.18. This is required reading for all contractors, subcontractors, and construction management companies to ensure compliance. These sections govern good business practices under Florida’s construction lien statute.

The Next 10 Sections of Florida’s Construction Lien Statute: Getting Your Lien Right to Litigate or Resolve

The next 10 sections of Florida’s construction lien statute address matters to double-check, clarify, or perform before entering into a lawsuit or other legal remedy for a construction dispute. They deal with assigning, waiving, releasing, transferring, discharging, and duration of construction liens, and bonds, as governed by Florida’s construction lien statute. At this stage, you are either getting ready to litigate on a construction lien, or have found a way to resolve the issue surrounding the lien and are ready to let it go. See Florida Statutes §§ 713.19 to 713.26. Either way, it must be done following these sections of Florida’s construction lien statute.

The Lawsuit 5 Sections of Florida’s Construction Lien Statute: Litigation

The next 5 sections of Florida’s construction lien statute deal with matters in litigation over construction liens. They address certain types of lawsuits on constructions liens, legal remedies for fraud and collusion, interpleading disputing parties into a lawsuit, various lawsuit judgment outcomes, and who can get their attorney’s fees paid. See Florida Statutes §§ 713.27 to 713.31. Although attorneys will most certainly be familiar with these sections of Florida’s construction lien statute, all others in the field should read through these sections to become comfortable with what may materialize if a dispute turns to the courts.

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The Last 7 Sections of Florida’s Construction Lien Statute: Insurance, Lenders, and Other People Who Might Also Pay

The next 10 sections of Florida’s construction lien statute deal with those other groups that may have to pay money on a construction debt matter. This includes insurance companies and lenders holding a mortgage on the property. These sections address some of their liability, how payments should be disbursed or applied, and what happens when parties falsify information on these matters. See Florida Statutes §§ 713.32 to 713.37. Whether resolved through litigation, settlement, or otherwise, these sections are necessary to be sure all money has been properly disbursed, accounted, set off, or reimbursed to the proper parties under Florida’s construction lien statute.

Conclusion on Florida’s Construction Lien Statute

We hope this article provided useful information on the actual structure of Florida’s construction lien statute to lend an understanding of its breadth, limitations, and organization. If you have any questions about a specific provision or right under Florida’s construction lien statute, please contact Bernhard Law Firm at www.bernhardlawfirm.com, 786-871-3349, abernhard@bernhardlawfirm.com.

Bernhard Law Firm

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