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Is this Mechanic's lien still valid and can it be vacated?

Hollywood, FL |

A contractor installed 5 exterior doors for me, and I have paid him 75% of the contract balance. He failed inspection and refused to return to finish the job. He also put a lien on my property for the 25% balance and proceeded enforcing it. I found out that he has a Glazing license and he is not licensed to install solid doors, so after complaining to the county licensing board , they found him in violation of working "out of the scope of his license" , fined him $500 and concluded that he can't go back to finish the doors work and pass inspection. My question, would this decision have any impact on the lien case? Since he wasn't license properly, am I still responsible to pay him at all and shouldn't I demand my money back ?
Thank you

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

The law is very clear. An unlicensed contractor cannot foreclose a lien, nor enforce a contract, unless you knew, when you executed the agreement, that he was not licensed. You may have other defenses as well. Since enforcement of the lien has started, if you do not already have a competent lawyer, you need to hire one.

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 ekm@mallorylawgroup.com (561)743-3708.

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Posted

The lien may not be enforceable for 2 reasons. First, as you point out, it appears he wasn't properly licensed to do the work. Not all "unlicensed" contracting will render a contract and lien unenforceable. It depends on the type of license required to do the work, as established by state licensing statutes. Second, a lien for the full value of the contract balance when the work wasn't properly done or finished is not proper. There may be other defenses to the lien but more information is needed. You should consult with a construction attorney about your legal rights. I'd be glad to discuss further with you.

The information provided herein is for general informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Persons seeking legal advice should consult directly with a licensed attorney or contact the Florida Bar for assistance in finding an attorney.

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Posted

Thank you Gary for your answer. I thought that if a contractor is inappropriately licensed for particular job, it is like he is not licensed at all ? So even if the contractor is found by the county Board that he is not appropriately licensed, he didn't finish the work, didn't pass the city required inspection, the lien is still applicable ?? I thought the law says or at least advises to not make full payment unless the work is completed and the release forms are provided by the contractor ?

Posted

I agree with my colleagues. You need to consult with an attorney right away as it sounds like you have a good defense. If you do not have a lawyer already, www.naca.net can provide you with a list of consumer attorneys in your area.

This is not to be considered legal advice nor does an attorney-client relationship exist.

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Posted

and your input is ?

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