Many individuals or associations have been victimized by unscrupulous contractors. These experiences include defective work resulting in costly disputes with contractors and efforts to correct deficiencies; contractors abandoning jobs; and the filing of liens on the owners’ property, despite payment for such services or goods having been made to the contractor. A basic understanding of construction lien laws may minimize exposure to the problems described above. Chapter 713, Florida Statutes (the “Construction Lien Laws”), provides protection to owners engaging contractors to perform work on their property, and it protects contractors, their subcontractors, suppliers and other professionals to ensure that they are paid for their services.
An appellate decision in a case from Miami-Dade County Circuit Court has significant implications for community associations and the property management firms that provide them with cleaning, security, concierge and maintenance services. The appellate court reversed the lower court’s decision and found that the property management firm was not entitled to a claim of lien under the state’s Construction Lien Law.