Vesting and Priorities of Competing Construction Liens

Abate_Anthony_LI
Anthony Abate

Introduction

It goes without saying that a construction project involves a plethora of competing interests. There is a lender, a main contractor, subdivision improvers, architects, and many different subcontractors, all of which are competing for limited funds meant to be exchanged for labor, services, and materials. In an ideal world, there are enough funds to pay the full value of all claims for work, services, and materials furnished.  However, this is not always the case and is a main reason why Florida has such an in-depth statutory scheme governing construction liens and other claims to funds.  As such, this article intends to address the basic vesting and priorities among competing liens.

A.     Relation Back Doctrine

The most basic rule for maximizing your chances of getting compensated for work, services, or material furnished is: first in time, first in right. Simply put, the first to record their lien will take priority over subsequently recorded liens. Continue reading “Vesting and Priorities of Competing Construction Liens”

Suppliers Beware: The Florida Construction Lien Law Will Be Strictly Construed

Brian R. Lambert
Brian R. Lambert

As construction lawyers asserting lien claims, we commonly have our opponents recite the maxim “construction lien statutes must be given a strict reading,” leading to an argument that a failure to follow the lien law’s very technical requirements leads to a windfall victory for the other party.  While leading to unmercifully unfair results in many instances, courts give little deference to claimants who have failed to jump through the statutory hoops necessary to perfect their lien claims.

Suppose for a moment that you’re a supplier on a large commercial construction project, supplying drywall materials to the drywall subcontractor. At some point during the project, the drywall subcontractor defaults and the general contractor begins purchasing drywall materials directly from you. Continue reading “Suppliers Beware: The Florida Construction Lien Law Will Be Strictly Construed”