by Brian Tight, Director of Developer Relations & Lake Worth Regional Director, Campbell Property Management
Florida Construction liens are claims made by contractors, subcontractors or material suppliers (anyone who works on your property or provides materials) that are not paid-in-full and seek payment against your condo or HOA property. This means that if a lien is filed against your property, your property could be sold against your will to pay for labor, materials, or other services which your contractor may have failed to pay.
If your contractor does not pay subcontractors or material suppliers (even if your association paid the contractor in full) they can come after you and your property for payment. Architects, landscapers, interior designers, engineers and land surveyors all have the ability to file Florida construction liens on your property.
To protect your HOA or condo association, if you hire a contractor and the improvements cost more than $2,500, you should request a Release of Lien. This is a written statement that removes your property from the threat of lien and should be included in the contract. You can add a section in your agreement stating that the contractor must provide all releases of lien. However, if it is not included in the contract, then your condo association or HOA needs to get the releases of lien. Before you make any payment, be sure to receive this waiver from suppliers and subcontractors covering the materials used and work performed on your property. Get a list of all the subcontractors and suppliers who will be providing services or materials to your property from the contractor.
Make sure to get an affidavit from your contractor that lists all unpaid parties who provided services or materials to your property before making the final payment to your contractor. Do not pay the final payment until you receive releases from all parties stating that they have been paid by your contractor.
Has your condo association or HOA ever had a construction lien put against the property? How did you handle this? Tell us in the comments section below.