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In filing a demand letter for non payment in Florida, as a subcontractor, when do I add add'l amounts for attorneys and such?

Tampa, FL |

I am a sub-sub contractor on a public project for the City of Tampa. The subcontractor that hired us is not paying our invoices, and we have filed a lien (for the moneys owed as per the contract). We have 15 days to file a notice of non-payment and intend to file a claim against the bond and foreclose on the lien against the property. When do we add attorney's fees, lien filing fees, administration costs, and other additional expenses incurred by the prime contractor's unwillingness to pay?
I want to make sure we do not lose our right to those monies owed. We have been
forced to use our credit line and at over $100K borrowed, the interest is over $1500 a month for five months now.

I am located in Texas, but the property is in Tampa, FL.

Attorney Answers 5

  1. You can't lien government property. Do not add any of those additional costs/fees/penalties in your bond claim. You really need to retain a Florida lawyer, preferable one with construction law experience.

  2. You, my friend, need a construction attorney right now. Don't delay and please don't try to be a lawyer and a contractor. You appear to have a good claim. Get professional advice immediately.

    This is not legal advice. Think of this as what you would recieve from a wise uncle. And remember, you have never believed everything your uncle told you either. With free advice you generally get what you pay for.

  3. STOP! Do not pass Go! You are in need of a construction attorney before you do anything else. Florida law regarding ensuring that you get paid on public works projects is complex and fu8ll of traps for the unwary and inexperienced. A mis-step can cost you all that you are owed, plus expose you to other financial damages. HIRE A LAWYER NOW! If you need alocal referral, please give me a call.

    This response does not create an attorney-client relationship. Unless you are already a client of the Mallory Law Group, pursuant to an executed employment agreement, you should not use, interpret, or rely on this response as legal advice or opinion. Do not act on any information in this response without seeking legal advice. Earl K. Mallory (561)743-3708.

  4. Your remedy on a public project is to file a claim on the bond; a contractor has no lien rights against public property. In a notice for nonpayment, you are required to notify the surety of the principal amount owed for the work performed. The amounts you are entitled to recover for accrued for interest, attorneys' fees will generally be awarded by the court, and depend on the contract terms or any entitlement you may have by statute. It is very important that you follow the procedures set forth in Section 255.05 of the Florida Statutes. For example, because you are not in privity with the contractor, section 255.05(2)(a)(2) requires you to specify the amount claimed constituting retainage. I recommend you consult an attorney who can review your case and advise you properly.

    The comments provided herein are for general purposes only. The attorney has not reviewed the case, and the response does not constitute any advice as to this specific case. No person shall rely on the comments provided, and should consult an attorney to review his or her specifc factual circumstances. The response herein does not create an attorney-client relationship.

  5. (A) First of all, you need to retain experienced Florida Construction counsel. (B) You cannot foreclose a claim of lien on publicly owned property. (C) you cannot add those other items into your Notice of Nonpayment as to the bond claim. To the extent that you are a proper claimant and prevail on the bond, some of those items can then be added in through court judgment. (D) See item (A) above.

    No attorney-client relationship is created through interaction on this website. No such relationship will be created until execution of an engagement agreement furnished by Malka & Kravitz, P.A.

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