Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit: Requirements and Best Practices | Handle

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Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit: Requirements and Best Practices

Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit: Requirements and Best Practices

May 25, 2020

Dealing with payment disputes and delays can be difficult. Fortunately, remedies like mechanics liens are available to construction participants to ensure that they receive the payment that they work hard for.

In some states, one requirement before you file a mechanics lien or initiate an enforcement lawsuit is to first provide the property owner with a document called Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit.

This guide will walk you through the basic information about this document.

What is a Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit?

A Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit is a construction document that informs a property owner about your request for your final payment on a project. The final payment corresponds to the remaining amount due to you before you are fully paid for all the services that you furnished to a project.

Note that the Contractors’ Final Payment Affidavit must be a notarized document, which means that you must sign it in front of a notary.

Who must serve a Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit?

The specific requirements for which parties are required to serve a Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit vary per state. In Minnesota, for instance, general contractors and subcontractors working on a government project must serve a Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit on the Minnesota Department of Revenue before they can receive full payment.

In Florida, on the other hand, parties who have a direct contractual relationship with a property owner and who provide labor to a project must serve a Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit before they can enforce a mechanics lien.

In Florida’s case, material suppliers are exempted from the Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit requirement. However, all other parties who directly contract with an owner must deliver this document to the latter if they want to file a valid and enforceable mechanics lien.

Serving a Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit may not necessarily be a legal requirement in your state, but property owners may ask you to provide one as part of the payment negotiation process. Either way, it is a good idea to know how to properly fill out a Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit.

It is best practice to also inquire and familiarize yourself with the specific Contractor Final Payment Affidavit rules in your state.

When must you serve a Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit?

Generally speaking, a Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit is served after you have finished working on a project and when you are requesting for final payment.

When to serve a contractor’s final payment affidavit

Some states, however, have a specific deadline associated with serving the Contractor Final Payment Affidavit. In Florida, for example, the Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit must be served no later than 5 days before enforcing a Florida mechanics lien.

What happens if you do not provide a Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit?

This depends on the specific requirements in each state. In most states, serving a Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit is not a legal requirement, but it may be necessary to make a stronger case if you decide to enforce a mechanics lien.

However, certain states require the submission of a Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit before you can receive your payment or file a mechanics lien. In Minnesota, parties working on federal or local government projects must serve this document before they can receive full payment. In Florida, failing to serve a timely Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit on the property owner can invalidate a mechanics lien altogether.

How to serve a Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit

How to serve a Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit

1. Prepare the Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit form

You generally need the following information when filling out a Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit form:

A. Your name and address

Make sure to include your official business name and write in full. Do not forget suffixes like Ltd. or Inc.

B. The name of the property owner

Write the name of the property owner(s) with whom you are in contract with.

C. The amount of the final payment

This is the remaining payment amount that you are requesting.

D. A statement saying that all work stipulated in the contract has been completed in full and that all subcontractors under your employ have been paid in full

You are required to attest that the subcontractors that you hired have already been paid, so make sure that you accomplish such a step before you serve this form.

The state-prescribed template for Florida’s Contractor Final Payment Affidavit is available below. You may pattern your Contractor Final Payment Affidavit form after this document.

State of Florida

County of

Before me, the undersigned authority, personally appeared (name of affiant) , who, after being first duly sworn, deposes and says of his or her personal knowledge the following:

1. He or she is the (title of affiant) , of (name of contractor’s business) , which does business in the State of Florida, hereinafter referred to as the “Contractor.”

2. Contractor, pursuant to a contract with (name of owner), hereinafter referred to as the “Owner,” has furnished or caused to be furnished labor, materials, and services for the construction of certain improvements to real property as more particularly set forth in said contract.

3. This affidavit is executed by the Contractor in accordance with section 713.06 of the Florida Statutes for the purposes of obtaining final payment from the Owner in the amount of $ .

4. All work to be performed under the contract has been fully completed, and all lienors under the direct contract have been paid in full, except the following listed lienors:

NAME OF LIENOR

AMOUNT DUE

Signed, sealed, and delivered this day of,

By (name of affiant)

(title of affiant)

(name of contractor’s business)

Sworn to and subscribed before me this day of by (name of affiant) , who is personally known to me or produced as identification, and did take an oath.

(name of notary public)

Notary Public

My Commission Expires:
(date of expiration of commission)

2. Have the Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit notarized

Remember that the Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit must be notarized. This means that you must sign your document in front of a notary. The presence of the notary officer proves that you are swearing under oath that all the details you write on your Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit are true.

Always verify the accuracy of the information you write on your Contractor Final Payment Affidavit. Make sure that the amount that you wrote is accurate and is reasonable based on your contract with the property owner. If the form says that your work has been completed in full and that your subcontractors have also been fully paid, make sure that such statements are verifiably true as well.

3. Deliver the Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit form

There is no specific method for serving the Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit on the property owner. Serving it via personal delivery should work so long as you secure a signed acknowledgment of receipt. Delivering via registered or certified mail with return receipt requested is also a good service method, as long as you make sure that you keep all mailing related paperwork.

Best practices when serving a Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit

1. Familiarize yourself with the specific rules in your state

Each state will have different rules regarding the Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit. Florida is one of the states that is known for requiring a Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit form to be served on a property owner before a mechanics lien may be filed. Other states may have different rules, so make sure that you are aware of those requirements.

2. Verify the accuracy of the information in your Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit

The Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit is a form that you sign under oath. It is very important that the details you write on your form are accurate and true. Do not make the mistake of misspelling your own business name or writing the wrong final payment amount. Be diligent when filling out your Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit form to avoid potential issues.

3. Do not hesitate to ask an expert if you need help with filling out the form

If you are unsure about how to fill out a Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit form, you can always ask experts for their help. A quick chat with Handle experts can point you in the right direction, so do not hesitate to ask your questions.

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