All for One, One for All: Who is Owner for Lien Purposes

by | May 1, 2013 | Getting Paid, Liens

The law allows contractors to place a lien on real property when they’re not paid for their work. So when a roofer, who had contracted with a condominium association to repair roofs on several common-managed buildings, wasn’t paid, he filed a lien against the association rather than the individual unit owners in each of the buildings.

The issue here was whether the “owner” for mechanic’s liens purposes was each and every unit within the various buildings or just the association. Florida statutes make clear that labor performed or materials furnished to the common elements of a building, if authorized by the association, are considered to be provided with the consent of each unit owner. This allows the filing of a lien against all condominium parcels in the same proportion for which the unit owners are liable for common expenses. There was no need to join the individual unit owners here to foreclose the roofer’s lien because the association executed the contract, but each unit owner was deemed to have given their consent.

Knowledge is king in every undertaking and it is no different when it comes to Florida Lien Law. Keeping up to date with legislative changes, critical court decisions, and current construction lien law is something construction executives and design professionals must do regularly to remain effective managers as they work hard to turn concepts into drawings and blueprints into well-built projects. Where it now has become common to believe that any discovered deficiency must be the result of someone else’s acts or omissions, the idea of avoiding potential risks is today more important than ever.

Published by the construction lawyers at The Barthet Firm in Miami, is a collection of Florida Lien Law alerts and articles, many reprinted from their initial publication in industry journals. It provides information helpful to contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers, architects, engineers and anyone else dealing with a mechanics lien issue, construction contracts, or construction bonds, especially in South Florida.

Managing job site discrepancies and those unavoidable change orders while correctly interpreting construction contract terms can provide an edge – something much appreciated in this always competitive business. This is but one step in that process. Read on.

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