The time limit for serving a Notice to Owner is 45 days from your FIRST day on the job. This time limit is the number one stumbling block for subcontractors – they wait too long to send their NTO, and they lose their right to lien. The Notice Zone can help with that strict time limit.
Notices to Owner are sent using USPS Certified Return Receipt mail, which means that the postal carrier will not deliver it unless there is someone available to sign for it. If no one is available, the postal carrier will leave a notice to let the recipient know that they have a mailing waiting for them. This type of situation can seriously delay delivery of your notice! But did you know that the Florida statute provides protection from your notice languishing in the post office, waiting to be picked up, while your time limit for serving your notice winds down? The statute states that if the Notice to Owner is sent using Certified Mail and the person (or company) who sends it uses a Certified Mail Log, the Notice to Owner is considered DELIVERED UPON MAILING, as long as it is mailed WITHIN 40 DAYS of your first day on the job. At The Notice Zone, we only mail using Certified Mail Logs that are date stamped and signed by the postal worker accepting our mailings. You have the extra peace of mind that your lien rights will be preserved no matter when the mailing actually gets delivered! Even if the mailing doesn’t reach its destination due to lost mail or refusal of delivery by your recipient, THE NOTICE TO OWNER IS CONSIDERED DELIVERED THE DAY WE MAIL IT, so your Notice to Owner time limit requirement is easier to fulfill.
Make sure you get your Notice to Owner request to us within 35 days of the job start so you can be sure that your mailing can take advantage of the provisions in the statute. Fill out our online NTO Request form by clicking here, or print our form to fax or email to us by clicking here. Questions? Call us at 407-399-8997. Protect your lien rights so you can get paid!
Subcontractors often look to hire a Florida NTO (Notice to Owner) service in order to save time, to be assured that their notices are written and served correctly, and to protect their lien rights. It is so important, especially now in the construction industry, that subcontractors mind the strict time limits set forth in the Florida statutes to protect their lien rights. Serving timely notices (NTOs) is the only way to secure your lien rights so you can get paid for materials supplied and/or work performed.
The Florida Notice to Owner document makes it clear to the property owner that they are required to pay for the materials supplied and or services performed. The language of the Florida NTO warns the property owner that they are responsible for making sure that the subcontractor sending the NTO is paid. As required by Florida law, the Florida NTO informs the owner that even if they pay the general contractor in full, if the general contractor does not pay the subcontractor, the owner may have to pay the subcontractor or risk having their property liened. In essence, the property owner would have to pay for work performed or materials supplied twice in the event that the subcontractor that sent the NTO does not get paid. This is a very strong stimulus for the owner to be sure that the subcontractors are getting paid, and is very effective in preventing the general contractor from withholding payments to subs.
The Notice Zone receives calls almost daily from subcontractors who have waited too long to get paid – they are past the 45 day time limit to serve their NTO upon the property owner. DON’T WAIT UNTIL YOU HAVEN’T BEEN PAID ON A PROJECT TO SERVE AN NTO!!! An NTO is not a collection notice – it is a form required by Florida law when you work as a subcontractor. Do not worry about offending a general contractor by sending an NTO. It is a standard part of the industry and any reputable general contractor is not put off by their subs following the construction laws.
Send an NTO on every project you begin in Florida, right when you begin, and you can have peace of mind that if you don’t get paid, you can lien the property you worked upon (or make a claim on the bond for bonded projects). Call us today at (407)399-8997 to learn more.
You can’t lien public property. Period. So what do you do when you are hired to work on an airport, park, school, courthouse or other type of public property? How do you protect your right to be paid for the work you do? Instead of sending a Notice to Owner (NTO), you send a Notice to Contractor. The Notice to Contractor tells the General Contractor on the project that in the event that you are not paid, you will look to the Bond to be paid. (A bond is similar to an insurance policy for a specific project. Florida Statutes Section 255.05(1)(a) states that a contractor on a pubic project must record a payment bond in the public records of the county where the project is located PRIOR to commencing work. This requirement is for state projects of $100,000.00 or more, or county, city or public authority projects of $200,000.00 or more.) The time frame for sending a Notice to Contractor is 45 days from your FIRST day of work, the same as the time limit for sending a Notice to Owner (NTO). Learn more about The Notice Zone’s Notice to Contractor service by clicking here. Have questions? Fee free to call us at (407)399-8997.
What do you do if you send your Notice to Contractor and you don’t get paid on a job? Check our next blog for the answer, or click here to learn about the Notice of Nonpayment process.
Construction laws vary from state to state; some states require that before you lien a property, you serve the owner of the property an “Intention to Lien” form to warn them. Florida DOES NOT require you to serve such notice; if you worked directly for the owner of the property that you worked on (or if you worked as a subcontractor or material supplier and sent your Notice to Owner within 45 days of your first day on the job), you are able to file a lien on a property for the moneys owed to you without warning the owner. However, you can serve an Intent to Lien warning upon the owner in the hope that just learning that you are ready to file a lien will prompt payment, without the hassle and expense of actually filing the lien.
The Notice Zone can write and serve your Intention to Lien form in the event you do not get paid on a project. Remember, you have ninety days from your last day on the job (real work, not punch out work) to file a lien. We send the Intent to Lien forms via USPS Certified Return Receipt mail, so the property owner has to sign for the mailing and you know exactly when they received it. Just like our Notices to Owner, we research the property and project and we include all pertinent information on the Intent to Lien, such as property description, Notice of Commencement filing information, total money owed to you (we include a copy of your invoice) and more to demonstrate that you are ready to file the lien if needed.
Don’t wait until you are a week away from losing your lien rights! It is only $30.00 for us to research, write and serve the Intent to Lien, plus a $5.49 USPS Certified Return Receipt charge, for a total of $35.49. Our clients have had good success in getting paid when this form is served in a timely manner.
Call us today at (407)399-8997 if you are interested in trying our service!