Florida Lien Laws - Homeowner Rights
Did you recently have home renovations done by a contractor or subcontractor to improve the quality of your home? Was more harm than good done by that contractor? If so, you are just another homeowner victim in South Florida to be taken advantage of by shoddy contractors and Florida’s construction lien laws.
Here’s a typical scenario: the renovations are not completed on time or done properly so you the homeowner refuse to pay the remaining balance, contractor refuses to do any more work until he is paid the outstanding balance, a standoff ensues which ultimately leads to the contractor placing a lien on your home. At this point, most homeowners feel helpless since they have no recourse to prevent these contractors from filing liens on the homeowners’ property.
Florida’s construction lien laws are very favorable to anyone who performs work on one’s home. In theory, Florida’s homestead laws prevent just about any creditors from coming after your home which is why the lien laws are so tough against homeowners when they hire people to perform work for them.
Florida’s lien laws also have a prevailing party attorney’s fee provision which means whoever wins also recovers all of their attorney’s fees. This means that most naive homeowners choose to pay to remove the lien even though nothing was done in accordance with the original proposal or contract for fear of paying attorney’s fees.
Prior to paying off the bad contractor and hiring a new contractor to fix and finalize the home repairs, a few very important things need to be done to ensure that you preserve your claim against the contractor. After all, if the work wasn’t performed or done properly and a lien was filed, then the homeowners have protections against “frivolous liens”. There are ways to remove the liens and recover attorney fees from the contractors.