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How a contractor can file a lien on your South Florida property

Many South Florida residents purchase a home that they know will need some work. The condition of the home may even be a major part of the initial real estate sale, with the home labeled "as is" for prospective buyers. Anyone willing to enter into a real estate transaction while fully aware of the issues that need to be addressed will likely move quickly to hire contractors to complete the work.

Of course, the biggest part of bringing in a contractor to complete work on a home is the contract: what is to be done, and what will the contractor be paid? The work to be done could be anything from a roof replacement to painting, but it will be important for the homeowner to make sure that the work to be completed is specified in great detail in the contract.

And then there will be the matter of payment. Homeowners should know that even if there is a dispute over the quality of work that is ultimately completed, it may be a mistake to withhold payment to a contractor. Why is that? Well, the contractor could place a lien on the home. Under Florida law, a contractor who has not been paid in full can file a lie on the property within 90 days of the last day he worked on the property. And, even more, the contractor does not have to give the property owner notice that he will be filing for a lien.

Liens can be an important part of home ownership, as well as real estate transactions. Homeowners will want to avoid liens, and sellers and buyers will likely want to make sure that liens are addressed before any real estate transaction can be completed. Fully understanding liens can be challenging, though, which is why it is often best for those dealing with them to discuss them with a legal professional.

Source: FindLaw, "Contractors' Liens: Select State Laws," accessed Jan. 24, 2016

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