A lack of privity between parties to a construction project often results in a lack of information. This is easily overcome by requesting the needed information pursuant to Florida’s lien law. The owner may serve in writing a demand to the lienor for a written statement under oath of his or her account. The Statement of Account will include, if requested, the nature of the labor or services performed and to be performed, if any, the materials furnished, the materials to be furnished, if known, the amount paid on account to date, the amount due, and the amount to become due, if known. The failure or refusal to furnish the Statement within 30 days after the demand or the furnishing of a false or fraudulent statement will deprive the lienor of his or her lien.
The demand must be served on the lienor at the address and to the attention of any person who is designated in the notice to owner. If the demand is not served upon the designated persons and at the address as set forth in the notice to owner, then the failure or refusal to furnish the statement will deprive the lienor of his or her lien.
The demand must prominently display the following (or similar) warning: WARNING: YOUR FAILURE TO FURNISH THE REQUESTED STATEMENT, SIGNED UNDER OATH, WITHIN 30 DAYS OR THE FURNISHING OF A FALSE STATEMENT WILL RESULT IN THE LOSS OF YOUR LIEN. The failure to notarize an otherwise accurate and timely Statement of Account is fatal to a mechanics’ lien claim. This is in light of the strict compliance required within the mechanic’s lien statutes, even in absence of any showing of prejudice to the owner.