Filing a notice to owner is occasionally a necessary part of the construction and contracting process. In the state of Florida, this notice is required before you can file a construction lien with the county courts. The NTO lets the owners of a property know specifically what they owe you and how long they have to pay before you will file a lien with the government. This process is significant, in that it protects contractors and their suppliers from loss of income due to payment failure.
Florida Lien Basics
According to Florida state law, anyone who works on your property or provides you with materials has a right to enforce a claim against you if they aren’t paid in full. This is called a construction lien. Under this law, even if you have paid your contractor in full, but he hasn’t in turn reimbursed his suppliers, a lien could still be filed against you. If an unpaid lien filed against you stands for a prolonged period of time, this means that your property could be sold against your will in order to repay your contractor’s suppliers.
If you hire a contractor and your costs are over $2,500, you should take measures to protect your interests. Be sure you have a contract in place and request a list of all suppliers and subcontractors that your construction company plans to use. Before you make your last payment for the services rendered, request an affidavit from the contractor outlining all monies left unpaid to suppliers or subcontractors.
What is an NTO in Florida?
A notice to owner is a written warning stating your intentions to file a construction lien. The owner is given the option to either pay the money that is due immediately or deal with the issue once you’ve filed a lien against her. As soon as this notice has been served upon the owner, you may file a lien with the country.
How to File a Notice to Owner
Be sure to clearly indicate in your transmission that it is a notice to owner. You should provide great detail as to how much money is owed, when it was due and the date on which you intend to file a lien if you still haven’t received payment. Providing your business information, (if applicable), name and contact information is also key. To ensure that the notice is received, you might wish to send it certified mail. This way, you will have documentation that the owner was aware of your intentions to file a lien. Maintain the certified mail receipt as proof of this for your records.
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