Florida
Preliminary Notice-Private Work

Warning: All information contained within this data base is subject to change at any time by the various states and is not guaranteed in any way by FWM Sofftrware. Nor does FWM Software assume any liability or responsibility for it's content. Please use in conjunction with advice from your attorney.

Note: This information is limited in scope and applies only to this document. Please see the general information, all forms memo, and the general information memo for this type of document, for additional information.

Description: Preliminary Notice for Furnishing labor, Materials or Equipment

Scope: State of Florida, Private Works

Important: Service by a certain date in Florida means service by that date, not in the mail to be served as with some states. If the mail was delayed (not refused or ignored) that is an absolute defense to a lien or bond claim.

Important: If the owner has required the prime contractor to provide a payment bond, the rights against the bond are resubstituted for lien rights. See Florida Bond or Lien Claim, Private Works, for more information. We still strongly urge you to serve Preliminary Notices on bonded jobs in case recovery is not available.

Time Constraints: A Florida Preliminary Notice must be prepared and served on the owners, general contractors, all subcontractors (all in the chain from your customer and above to the General or Prime. Use the additional Legal Parties table) and lenders (and sureties, if one exists and does not cover the full claim) by personal service or certified mail either prior to, but no later than 45 days after, the first furnishing of labor, materials or service to a project.

If you are supplying specially fabricated materials, the notice requirement of 45 days runs from the date you first began to actually fabricate the special materials, not from the date of your delivery.

If you have not delivered the Preliminary notice by the 40th day via Certified mail, must use overnight delivery between the 41st and 45th days.

Failure to serve your notices within required time frame will almost certainly bar you lien rights. If this happens, talk to your attorney immediately.

Information Requirements: The information required by the program and whether you intend to send an owner cover letter.

Form Types: Preliminary Notice for Furnishing labor, Materials or Equipment, Exhibits A-D (if needed) and Owner Letter (if used).

Procedures: Enter the program data, including Additional Legal Parties or Releases for Other Companies. Copies of all of the forms (less the Owner Cover Letter and the Recorder Letter) must be sent to all legal owners, all general contractors, all lenders and all sureties. If you are supplying a sub-contractor of the project he must also receive a copy of the notice. We strongly urge mailing these notices as soon as possible.

When in doubt, file your lien claim immediately.

Important: Filing the Preliminary Notice in a timely fashion is very important in Florida. If there is substantial compliance with the law regarding your notice, it's information and it's service, your lien claim will often be allowed even with minor errors of fact (again, talk with your attorney).

An applicant (general or subcontractor) for a building permit (city or county) is required to provide a copy of his Notice of Commencement with his building permit when it is issued. This is one source of information for filing your own claim.

Owners must post a certified copy of a statutory labor and material payment bond at the job site before beginning construction on the project. The bonding company must record a certified copy of the bond in the public records (city or county) where the construction will take place within 45 days of issuing their bond.

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