CHANGE IS ON ITS WAY TO CHAPTER 713: Important Updates to Florida’s Lien Law

Effective October 1, 2023, there will be changes coming to Florida’s Construction Lien Law —Chapter 713. Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis, signed House Bill 331 in June of this year. The new provisions to Chapter 713 include updates to the definition of “Contractor”, computation of deadlines, notices of termination, and more.

The following are just some of the updates you should be aware of:     

Section 713.01(8): The definition of “Contractor” pursuant to 713.01(8) has been expanded to include “a licensed general contractor or building contractor who provides construction management services” or “program management services.” Construction management services include coordinating and scheduling a project’s preconstruction and construction phases. Program management services include cost control, schedule control, and coordinating project planning, design, and construction.

Section 713.011: This is an entirely new addition to Chapter 713. This section clarifies the computation of deadlines for recording a document or action with the clerk when the deadline happens to fall on a weekend, a holiday, or Courthouse closure. The time period for recoding a lien has been extended to the next business day, if the last day of the period is a Saturday, Sunday, legal holiday, or any holiday observed by the clerk’s office or designated as a holiday by the circuit’s chief judge. Additionally, the time period to record is paused, or tolled, if the clerk’s office is closed for an emergency. The length of the pause, or tolling period, depends on the number of days the clerk’s office is closed.

Section 713.132: Chapter 713 provides an Owner with the ability to terminate its notice of commencement, provided certain requirements are met and certain information is included in the notice of termination. Section 713.132 will now require an Owner to serve a copy of the notice of termination on each lienor that has a direct contract with the Owner, and on each lienor that timely and properly served a notice to owner, before the owner records a notice of termination. Important to note, a notice of termination served properly before the owner records the notice terminates the notice of commencement 30 days after the owner records the notice of termination in the public records, or on a later date stated in the recorded notice of termination.

Starting October 1, 2023, make sure you are following the new updates to the lien requirements. These are only just a few of the updates and changes made to Chapter 713.

Florida’s lien law is a complex subject, especially with trying to keep up with the ongoing legislative changes to Chapter 713. However, the attorneys at Soto Law Group are equipped with the experience, knowledge, and expertise to handle this subject. Please contact us should you need help with any construction or contract-related problems you might be facing. We look forward to hearing from you!

Written by: Douglas Clarke, Esq.

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