(Consult an attorney before using this form or relying on this information)
What is a Notice to Owner?
In order to record a valid construction claim of lien in Florida it is necessary for contractors that do not have a contractual relationship with the owner to provide the owner with a statutory notice. Florida Statutes section 713.06 sets forth the requirements for the form of the notice.
What is the purpose of a Notice to Owner?
The purpose of the notice is to make the owner of the property aware that a contractor is performing work on the property at the direction of another contractor (usually the general contractor). It also warns the owner that the failure to pay the contractor may result in the owner paying twice, i.e., once to the general contractor and once to the subcontractor. An owner is not excused from paying a subcontractor if the owner pays the general contractor who in turn fails to pay the subcontractor.
What are there rules I need to follow when I send a Notice to Owner?
It is recommended that the text of the form of the notice in the statute be strictly adhered to. The notice must be served via certified mail before commencing, or no later than 45 days after commencing the work. Failure to send out a notice to owner will invalidate any subsequent lien that is recorded in connection with the work performed. Contractors who have a direct contract with the owner do not have to provide the statutory notice.
Step 1: Search for the owner’s Notice of Commencement
The first step in preparing a Notice to Owner is to search the public records available from the county recorder’s office for the owner’s Notice of Commencement. This document contains the contact information of all the parties you will place on notice of your work. In the absence of a Notice of Commencement, the notice must still be sent to the owner.
Step 2: Writing a general description of the work you are providing
Once you know who you are sending the Notice to Owner to, you can move on to the second step, which is writing a general description of the work you are providing.
Step 3: Write a property description
The third step is to write a property description (the project name, address and legal description).
Step 4: Serve the Notice to Owner
The fourth and final step is to send copies of the Notice to Owner to all those persons listed in Florida Statutes sections 713.06(2)(a) and (b).
FLORIDA’S CONSTRUCTION LIEN LAW ALLOWS SOME UNPAID CONTRACTORS, SUBCONTRACTORS, AND MATERIAL SUPPLIERS TO FILE LIENS AGAINST YOUR PROPERTY EVEN IF YOU HAVE MADE PAYMENT IN FULL. UNDER FLORIDA LAW, YOUR FAILURE TO MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE PAID MAY RESULT IN A LIEN AGAINST YOUR PROPERTY AND YOUR PAYING TWICE. TO AVOID A LIEN AND PAYING TWICE, YOU MUST OBTAIN A WRITTEN RELEASE FROM US EVERY TIME YOU PAY YOUR CONTRACTOR.
Notice to Owner Form Example
To (Owner’s name and address)
The undersigned hereby informs you that he or she has furnished or is furnishing services or materials as follows:
(General description of services or materials) for the improvement of the real property identified as (property description) under an order given by_______________.
Florida law prescribes the serving of this notice and restricts your right to make payments under your contract in accordance with Section 713.06, Florida Statutes.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR YOUR PROTECTION
Under Florida’s laws, those who work on your property or provide materials and are not paid have a right to enforce their claim for payment against your property. This claim is known as a construction lien.
If your contractor fails to pay subcontractors or material suppliers or neglects to make other legally required payments, the people who are owed money may look to your property for payment, EVEN IF YOU HAVE PAID YOUR CONTRACTOR IN FULL.
–RECOGNIZE that this Notice to Owner may result in a lien against your property unless all those supplying a Notice to Owner have been paid.
–LEARN more about the Construction Lien Law, Chapter 713, Part I, Florida Statutes, and the meaning of this notice by contacting an attorney or the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
Copies to: (Those persons listed in Section 713.06(2)(a) and (b), Florida Statutes)