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Advice on Hiring a Contractor

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Wed, Mar 24, 2010 at 12:20PM

Consumers are experiencing situations regarding the selection of qualifed contractors and contractors in the metro Orlando area. If a property owner hires an unscrupulous company that does not pay the bills related to construction improvements, it results in liens being placed on the property by those companies that were not paid.  When this situation occurs, the property owner may end up paying twice, as those liens must be paid.  The lien law is defined in Chapter 713 of the Florida Statute. 

The Home Builder's Association of Metro Orlando is comprised of builders, remodelers, subcontractors, and suppliers active in our community.  The organization offers the following advice to consumers regarding steps that can be taken to allow the lien laws to protect homewoners.

1.  Do research ino the contractor being considered and only used licensed contractors.  Ask for references, which include state license, current insurance, past work references, and professional membership in the Home Builder's Association of Metro Orlando.

2.  Do not do business based on oral agreements.  Work should be done based on a written contract.  The contract must include the mandatory provisions of Section 713.015 of the Florida Statues for all work over $2,500.  This notice must be pirinted in 12-point, capitalized, bold-faced type stating:

ACCORDING TO FLORIDA'S CONSTURCTION LIEN LAW, THOSE WHO WORK ON YOUR PROPERTY OR PROVIDE MATERIALS AND ARE NOT PAID IN FULL HAVE A RIGHT TO ENFORCE THEIR CLAIM FOR PAYMENT AGAINST YOUR PROPERTY.  THIS CLAIM IS KNOWN AS A CONSTRUCTION LIEN.  IF YOUR CONTRACTOR OR A SUBCONTRACTOR FAILS TO PAY SUBCONTRACTORS, SUB-SBUCONTRACTORS, OR MATERIAL SUPPLIERS, THOSE PEOPLE WHO ARE OWNED  MONEY MAY LOOK TO YOUR PROPERTY FOR PAYMENT, EVEN IF YOU HAVE ALRADY-PAID YOUR CONTRACTOR IN FULL.  IF YOU FAIL TO PAY YOUR CONTRACTOR, YOUR CONTRACTOR MAY ALSO HAVE A LIEN ON YOUR PROPERTY.  THIS MEANS IF A LIEN IS FILED YOUR PROPERTY COULD BE SOLD AGAINST YOUR WILL TO PAY FOR LABOR MATERIALS, OR OTHER SERVICES THAT YOUR CONTRACTOR OR A SUBCONTRACTOR MAY HAVE FAILED TO PAY.  TO PROTECT YOURSELF, YOU SHOULD STIPULATE IN THIS CONTRACT THAT BEFORE ANY PAYMENT IS MADE, YOUR CONTRACTOR IS REQUIRED TO PROVIDE  YOU WITH A WRITTEN RELEASE OF LIEN FROM ANY PERSON OR COMPANY THAT HAS PROVIDED TO YOU A "NOTICE TO OWNER."  FLORIDA'S CONSTRUCTION LIEN LSAW IS COMPLEX AND IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT YOU CONSULT AN ATTORNEY.

3.  Don't make any payments without a release from every lienor sending a Notice to Owner and from the contractor.

4.  Constult an industry professional who knows something about construction, contract law, and lien law.  The HBA of Metro Orlando is a great source of contractors and construction attorneys.

The members of th Home Builders Association of Metro Orlando are in busines to serve the construction industryand the construction related needs of our community.  They support ethical business practices and support homeowner protection provided by the lien laws of the Florida  Statutes.  Ease your mind by using HBA members on your next project. 
www.HBAofMetroOrlando.com or call (407) 629-9242.


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