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Notice To Owner Exceptions Still Exist in Florida

Notice To Owner Exceptions Still Exist in Florida

Notice To Owner Exceptions Still Exist in Florida

Under normal residential and commercial construction projects, subcontractors are not in direct privity with an owner. Thus, the subcontractor who wants to protect his or her lien rights files a Notice to Owner (“NTO”). The NTO must be filed before commencing work or within 45 days from first furnishing labor, materials and/or service.

However, a NTO is not always required. There are two general exceptions for lienholders. The first is you are in direct privity with the owner. In other words, you have a contract and the owner cannot argue that he or she was unaware of your involvement in the construction.

The second is for laborers, professionals and site workers on a construction project. None of these classes require a traditional notice to owner. As for professionals, Florida law defines them traditionally as those with a degree, e.g. architects, engineers, surveyors, and mappers. Even site workers (those who perform excavation or site work to make the building suitable) do not require a NTO. But laborers be warned: you are often asked to provide materials. Anything above your labor will qualify you as a subcontractor and thus require a NTO.

For more questions on your lien rights, including how to preserve and protect them, contact the attorneys at Englander Fischer, LLP.

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