Attorney Aaron Reichelson Authors Article “Stuck with an unfinished construction project? Don’t end up paying contractors twice,” for the Tampa Bay Business Journal
Because of the surge in residential construction projects during the pandemic, particularly new swimming pools, a growing number of projects have stalled before completion with contractors taking on more work than they can handle. Amid this trend, Aaron Reichelson authored an article for the May 28 issue of Tampa Bay Business Journal detailing Florida’s Lien Law, compliance and considerations for completing the project.
“If your contractor is struggling with your project, he might not be properly paying his subcontractors and suppliers,” Reichelson said. “Unless you’ve fully complied with Florida’s Lien Law, those unpaid parties could record a lien on your property, forcing you to pay them even if you have already paid the contractor for that work.” With that in mind, Reichelson offer some tips for compliance to help homeowners avoid paying twice:
- Formally request a list of subcontractors and suppliers to identify any new project arrivals that could establish themselves as a potential lienor based on their onboarding within the previous 45 days.
- Ensure the Waiver and Release of Lien from the contractor covers the period of time through which payment is being made.
- Demand a Contractor’s Payment Affidavit, and do not make another payment until one is received.
- Serve a Request for Sworn Statement of Account on each subcontractor or supplier if you are concerned anybody has not been paid.
- If you receive any response identifying a party who hasn’t been paid, take steps to ensure they are paid, and engage an attorney to ensure this is done correctly.
To help finish a project regardless of the circumstances, it is important to keep good records: document emails and calls to the contractor, what work has been completed, how much has been paid, when the contractor worked, and whether the contractor is still working or how long it’s been since the last work was done.
If there are concerns about a project or about a contractor’s solvency, seek advice early on the best remedies.
For the full article, please click here.