Florida Construction Law: What is a Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit?
Under Florida law, construction companies and contractors have very powerful debt collection tools. Specifically, these companies can place a construction lien on real property if they have not paid for their work. However, to get access to Florida’s construction lien protections, contractors must follow certain required procedures. The failure to do so will make collection far more challenging.
Among other things, construction companies must prepare and submit a Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit at the appropriate time. In this article, our top-rated West Palm Beach commercial litigation lawyers explain the most important things that you need to know about construction liens and the Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit.
Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavits: Understanding the Basics
A Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit should be issued pursuant to Florida Statutes § 713.06. This is Florida’s construction lien law. As a prerequisite of obtaining a construction lien, a company must give the owner of the property a Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit. This is an essential step in the process. The failure to provide the affidavit will prevent a construction company from obtaining a lien.
What exactly is the Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit? Essentially, it is a legal document that states that the project has been finished and it clearly outlines how much the property owner still owes in payment for materials or services. A Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit should be comprehensive. The more details regarding project and payment that are still due, the better. Contractors should ensure that the affidavit is accurate. That being said, Florida courts have ruled that small errors on an affidavit will not necessarily prevent a contractor from pursuing a construction lien.
Florida Contractors Must Submit the Affidavit Before Filing a Lien
The key thing to know: Under Florida law, a construction lien cannot be obtained or enforced if a Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit has not been furnished to the property owner. Indeed, this form must be delivered to the owner at least five days before any lien rights can be enforced. It is also important for all contractors to understand that all construction liens in Florida must be filed within 90 days of the completion of a project. These are very strict deadlines. If a company fails to take action in time, they will likely lose out on their lien rights. If a project was finished and final payment has not been made, it is imperative that a Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit is issued to the property owner immediately.
Get Help From a South Florida Commercial Litigation Attorney Now
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our skilled Florida attorneys have deep experience handling all aspects of construction litigation. If you have questions or concerns about final payment affidavits or any other related issue, we are available to help. To get a confidential initial consultation, please call us at our Miami law office or our West Palm Beach law office right away. We handle construction litigation cases throughout the state of Florida.