Florida Contractor’s Notice Law

Contractors – General – Florida

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Note:    This summary is not intended to be an all inclusive summary.

Notice of commencement.

(1)

(a)  Except for an improvement where the cost is $2,500.00 or less, an owner or the owner’s authorized agent before actually commencing to improve any real property, or recommencing completion of any improvement after default or abandonment, whether or not a project has a payment bond complying with s. 713.23, shall record a notice of commencement in the clerk’s office and forthwith post either a certified copy thereof or a notarized statement that the notice of commencement has been filed for recording along with a copy thereof. The notice of commencement shall contain the following information: See form FL-03196.

(b) The owner, at his or her option, may designate a person in addition to himself or herself to receive a copy of the lienor’s notice as provided in s. 713.06(2)(b), and if he or she does so, the name and address of such person must be included in the notice of commencement.

(c) If the contract between the owner and a contractor named in the notice of commencement expresses a period of time for completion for the construction of the improvement greater than 1 year, the notice of commencement must state that it is effective for a period of 1 year plus any additional period of time. Any payments made by the owner after the expiration of the notice of commencement are considered improper payments.

(d) A notice of commencement must be in substantially the following form: See form FL-03196.

(e) A copy of any bond must be attached at the time of recordation of the notice of commencement. The failure to attach a copy of the bond to the notice of commencement when the notice is recorded negates the exemption provided in s. 713.02(6). However, if such a bond exists but is not recorded, the bond may be used as a transfer bond pursuant to s. 713.24.

(f) The giving of a notice of commencement is effective upon the filing of the notice in the clerk’s office.

(g) The owner must sign the notice of commencement and no one else may be permitted to sign in his or her stead.

(2) If the improvement described in the notice of commencement is not actually commenced within 90 days after the recording thereof, such notice is void and of no further effect.

(3) The recording of a notice of commencement does not constitute a lien, cloud, or encumbrance on real property, but gives constructive notice that claims of lien under this part may be recorded and may take priority as provided in s. 713.07. The posting of a copy does not constitute a lien, cloud, or encumbrance on real property, nor actual or constructive notice of any of them.

(4) This section does not apply to an owner who is constructing improvements described in s. 713.04.

(5) Unless otherwise provided in the notice of commencement or a new or amended notice of commencement, a notice of commencement is not effectual in law or equity against a conveyance, transfer, or mortgage of or lien on the real property described in the notice, or against creditors or subsequent purchasers for a valuable consideration, after 1 year after the date of recording the notice of commencement.

(6) A lender must, prior to the disbursement of any construction funds to the contractor, record the notice of commencement in the clerk’s office as required by this section; however, the lender is not required to post a certified copy of the notice at the construction site. The posting of the notice at the construction site remains the owner’s obligation. The failure of a lender to record the notice of commencement as required by this subsection renders the lender liable to the owner for all damages sustained by the owner as a result of the failure. Whenever a lender is required to record a notice of commencement, the lender shall designate the lender, in addition to others, to receive copies of notices to owner. This subsection does not give any person other than the owner a claim or right of action against a lender for failure to record a notice of commencement.

Title XL, Chapter 713, Section 713.13.

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