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How a mechanic’s lien can protect construction workers

Construction can be a risky business for many reasons. The risk of injury can be higher on a construction site compared to other workplaces. In addition to the physical risks of the job, many construction professionals are independent contractors, relying on the individual who hired them to issue payment for completed work in a timely manner. Unfortunately, for many people in this line of work, prompt payment is not always something they can count on.

Fortunately, there are laws in place to defend the interests of construction workers. A mechanic’s lien is a security tool devised to protect workers in a construction project, including contractors, subcontractors and suppliers, among others. Here’s how it works:

Let’s say a homeowner decides to remodel her bathroom. She hires a general contractor to complete the job, and he in turn hires you to supply the Jacuzzi tub—which you do. However, upon completing your part of the job, the contractor doesn’t pay you. He claims he hasn’t received payment from the homeowner yet. Regardless of whether the contractor has or hasn’t been paid, you can file a mechanic’s lien against the homeowner, in which you lay claim to her property until you receive payment.

To be eligible to submit a mechanic’s lien in Florida, you must:

  • Be a licensed construction professional and
  • File the lien within 90 days of providing the work or materials.

The process of filing a mechanic’s lien can be complex, but it can prove to be extremely beneficial for a construction worker who has been cheated. Talking with a lawyer experienced in construction-related disputes can help walk you through the process and improve your chances of success.

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