Defect Claims & Construction Lien Attorneys in Miami, Florida
Construction and remodeling jobs are generally based on contractual agreements. If a property owner wants an apartment building erected on his lot, he will contract with an architect for the design and a general contractor for the actual work. The general contractor will, in turn, negotiate a stream of contracts to cover the various aspects of the construction project, including plumbing, electrical, structural, HVAC, and more. In a reconstruction project, a property owner will go through a similar process with a designer and contractor, who again will rely on a slew of subcontractors to do all the work. The one thing both these types of projects have in common is that the general contractor will receive bills for work done and supplies used from subcontractors to be paid, usually monthly, and will present the property owner/developer with the overall bill, to be paid so both general contractor and subcontractors can be compensated.
What happens, however, if the owner/developer delays or ignores payment, which can occur if the work is perceived not to be up to standards or the specifications agreed upon? The short answer is that the general contractor and each of the unpaid subcontractors can file a construction lien against the property and its owner. The lien will make it difficult, if not impossible, for the owner/developer to obtain financing or sell the property.
On the other hand, the owner/developer may decide that he has a valid claim for work that was not done according to the agreement, or that has noticeable structural or other problems that need repair or replacement. The owner/developer can file a construction defect claim against the general contractor.
If you as a contractor, subcontractor, or property owner/developer in or around Miami, Florida, are facing unpaid bills or claims of defects in a project, turn to the construction lawyers at Miguel A. Brizuela, P.A. to help resolve your situation before you and your project get bogged down in endless disputes or litigation. We have more than 15 years of experience in applying federal, state, and local construction laws to questions of defect claims and outstanding invoices to advise and guide everyone involved in every issue of a construction project. We proudly serve clients in the Miami Metro Area and throughout Southern Florida, including Coral Gables, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach.
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Construction Liens and Governing Statutes
A mortgage is a voluntary lien against your property, which enables you to purchase and pay for your property over time. A construction lien, in contrast, is an involuntary lien that unpaid contractors and subcontractors can place on your property, which must be paid before or when you refinance or sell the property. It’s a claim against you and your property for payment that is outstanding.
Florida’s Construction Lien Law states: “Those who work on your property or provide materials and services and are not paid in full have a right to enforce their claim for payment against your property. Their claim is known as a construction lien.”
Keep in mind that you, the property owner, can pay your general contractor in full, but if he does not pay his subcontractors, the subcontractors can still file a lien against you. Whether you’re looking to initiate a lien or seeking to respond to one, you’re going to need the guidance and help of an attorney experienced in Florida’s construction lien law.
Florida’s Construction Defect Law
If you as the owner or developer of a project discover problems in the completed project, you have a right to make a claim for a construction defect. Defects under the law generally fall into one or a combination of categories, including design defects, material defects, workmanship defects, and subsurface defects. The latter often concern soil conditions that might be causing problems for the structure.
Again, whether you’re the claimant or the party on the other end being notified or a defect, you will need to consult with a skilled attorney to make sure you’re exercising your full rights as well as meeting all your statutory obligations.
How a Construction Attorney Can Help
It is always better to pursue other options before things start to spiral with the filing of defect claims or construction liens. Informal discussions and negotiations may well accomplish what you need as a property owner or contractor/subcontractor before matters take a more serious tone
In addition, the laws concerning both these actions—claims and liens—are not always that straightforward or easy to understand. Consulting with an experienced construction attorney will not only help you avoid actions that can get you tied up in lengthy legal disputes but will also help you exercise your full legal rights should a lien or claim prove essential.
Construction Lien & Defect Claims Attorneys in Miami, Florida
If you’re facing a payment or defect dispute in a project in or around Miami, contact the construction attorneys immediately at Miguel A. Brizuela, P.A. We are dedicated to helping you find the most practical and beneficial solution for your dispute. Set up a meeting with us to start moving forward.