Left Out of a Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit
A contractor’s final payment affidavit is a critical document. Without filing it, a contractor will not be able to enforce its lien rights. The affidavit has to list all lienholders under the contractor’s control and note whether those lienholders have been paid in full, and if not, the amount still due.
An equally important step in pursuing a lien is timely service of a notice to owner and a recent case illustrated how the two, the contractor’s affidavit and the notice to owner, are interrelated. The case held that if no notice to owner is filed by a particular supplier or subcontractor, then a contractor need not include that supplier or subcontractor in his final payment affidavit. As importantly, leaving them out of the affidavit would not invalidate any subsequent lien filed by the contractor. The Court went on to say that even a negligent failure to include these folks in the contractor’s final affidavit wouldn’t be fatal, as long as the owner wasn’t prejudiced.
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, TheLienZone.com 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.