Florida Legislature Proposing Sweeping Changes to Florida’s Lien Laws
Florida House Bill 345 is currently making its way through the Florida House of Representatives and could bring major changes to Florida’s Lien Law as soon as July 1, 2022.
First and foremost, the proposed legislation will tweak some current definitions and add a new term to Florida Statutes. For example, the term “contractor” will be expanded to include those who provide construction management services, as well as program management services, such as schedule and cost control. The bill also proposes a new definition for “finance charges,” potentially paving the way for such charges to be more easily included and awarded in lien claims.
While the bill will also serve to clarify some long-standing lien practices, such as deadline calculations and single lien claims for multiple direct contracts, it also proposes an expensive change to bonding-off liens. Currently, when bonding off a lien, the amount required is 3 years of statutory interest plus $1,000 or 25% of the lien amount, whichever is greater. If the bill is successful, the new amount to bond off a claim would be three years of statutory interest plus 50% of the lien amount – a staggering increase!
Although this bill is still in its early stages, it has the potential to make numerous changes to Florida’s Lien Law if signed into law. Fortunately, you don’t have to make sense of the changes alone. The attorneys at Kirwin Norris, P.A. are well-adept in this area of law, with over half of them Board Certified in Construction Law by the Florida Bar and can assist with any questions or concerns you may have regarding the potential implications of Florida House Bill 345.