Construction Law

Don’t Be Afraid to Pursue Payment on a Coronavirus-Impacted Project featured image

Don’t Be Afraid to Pursue Payment on a Coronavirus-Impacted Project

At Cotney Attorneys & Consultants, we regularly advise contractors to watch out for the most common legal issues in the construction industry, issues like delays, labor and material shortages, payment issues, and bankruptcy. Unfortunately, these problems are only going to become more prevalent with the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. Now more than ever, you need to be careful when it comes to protecting your payment rights.

Below, a coronavirus construction lawyer with Cotney Attorneys & Consultants discusses the importance of preserving and exercising your lien rights during times of uncertainty. Although everyone in the industry is facing hardships, you have a right to be paid for work and materials provided. 

Being Cautious in Times of Uncertainty

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, our Fort Lauderdale construction lawyers would have recommended starting with a demand letter. Although our law firm does offer unlimited demand letters for subscription members, the current situation simply doesn’t allow the luxury of wasted time. Your company will be facing employee absenteeism, material shortages, and potential project shutdowns. It’s in your best interest to protect your lien rights if there is any sign of payment delays from a contractor or owner. As soon as you notice delayed payment, don’t be afraid to move forward with filing a mechanic’s lien. We recommend caution not only because of cash issues you may face but because county record offices will be suspending non-essential services, thereby limiting your ability to file. 

Related: Lien Law and COVID-19

Protecting Your Lien Rights

Under Florida law, you have 45 days after commencing work or providing materials to send the owner or general contractor a preliminary notice, or Notice To Owner. And whether you’re a general contractor, subcontractor, or sub-subcontractor, you’ll have 90 days to file a mechanic’s lien “after the final furnishing of the labor or services or materials by the lienor.” These deadlines are among several requirements that must be followed in order to ensure that your lien rights are protected. Failure to follow these requirements could result in you losing out on payments at a time when you can least afford to. For assistance filing a mechanic’s lien, consult a Fort Lauderdale construction lawyer from our law firm. 

Related: Construction Creditors and The Possible Rise in Bankruptcy Filings

For Any Assistance

We’ve only scratched the surface on how your company can protect itself during uncertain times like the COVID-19 outbreak. In addition to protecting your lien rights, it’s imperative that you review your contracts, apply for any needed disaster relief loans, and provide a safe work environment for your employees. We encourage you to look through our COVID-19 Resources page for additional information. You can also look to our subscription plans for commonly relied on lawyer services at an affordable rate. And if you need any assistance in the coming months, whether it be with filing a mechanic’s lien or any other legal concern, our law firm would be happy to assist you. 

If you would like to speak with a coronavirus construction attorney, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.