Florida Waiver and Release of Lien Upon Final Payment: When and How to Send | Handle

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Florida Waiver and Release of Lien Upon Final Payment: When and How to Send

Florida Waiver and Release of Lien Upon Final Payment: When and How to Send

July 17, 2020

Lien waivers are some of the most important and most commonly used documents in the construction business. Some states have strict regulations on what lien waivers must look like, while other states do not.

Florida is one of the states that require its construction participants to follow strict rules on using lien waivers. Florida statutes prescribe specific forms for lien waivers, and while parties are allowed to modify them, any lien waiver used in Florida must substantially be in the same format as recommended by the law.

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Send a Florida Waiver and Release of Lien in 60 seconds

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This guide lays out the basics of one of the two Florida lien waivers: the Waiver and Release of Lien Upon Final Payment.

When do you use a Florida Waiver and Release of Lien Upon Final Payment?

A Florida Waiver and Release of Lien Upon Final Payment is used when you are waiving your lien rights for a project in which you have received or will be receiving your final payment. This implies that your work on a project is complete and you will no longer be expecting more regular payments in the future.

If your work on a project is still ongoing and you are only looking to waive your lien rights over a portion of your services, consider signing another Florida lien waiver known as the Florida Waiver and Release of Lien Upon Progress Payment.

When do you use a Florida Waiver and Release of Lien Upon Final Payment

Is the Florida Waiver and Release of Lien Upon Final Payment a conditional waiver?

No, Florida lien waivers are by default unconditional lien waivers. An unconditional lien waiver is one that takes effect as soon as you sign the document. Once you sign an unconditional lien waiver, your lien rights are revoked regardless of whether the payment has been made or not.

It is very important that you first verify that you have your payment on hand before you sign a Florida lien waiver.
However, even though Florida lien waivers are unconditional by default, parties are allowed to modify the state-prescribed form to turn it into a conditional waiver. Florida Statutes § 713.20(6) implies that parts of the lien waiver forms recommended by the law may be different.

A Florida lien waiver for Final Payment may, therefore, be made into a conditional lien waiver by including the following statement:

“Pursuant to Florida Statutes § 713.20(6), this waiver is conditional and effective only when the claimant receives actual payment of the amount specified on this form.”

Any similar statement to the one above will do. The point is you must include a clause in your lien waiver that makes it effective only when you have received your payment. Keep in mind that while you are allowed to modify the Florida lien waiver forms, your final payment lien waiver must still be substantially similar to what is prescribed under Florida Statutes § 713.20(5).

How to fill out a Florida Waiver and Release of Lien Upon Final Payment?

The Florida Waiver and Release of Lien Upon Final Payment must substantially be in the following form:

WAIVER AND RELEASE OF LIEN

UPON FINAL PAYMENT

The undersigned lienor, in consideration of the final payment in the amount of $ , hereby waives and releases its lien and right to claim a lien for labor, services, or materials furnished to (insert the name of your customer) on the job of (insert the name of the owner) to the following described property:
(description of property)

DATED on , (year) . (Lienor)

By:

The following information must be provided in the appropriate blanks in the Florida lien waiver form shown above:

1. $

This is the amount of payment that you are waiving. Since this is a final payment waiver, this amount should correspond to the last paycheck that you are expecting from the project.

2. Name of customer

This is the name of the party who hired you for the project.

3. Name of owner

This is the name of the owner(s) of the property. You may write multiple names if the property has multiple owners.

4. Description of the project

This is a brief description of the property location (e.g. legal property description, street address).

5. Sign date

This is the date when you sign the Lien waiver.

6. By-line

This is your or your agent’s information, including your or their name, address, and signature.

Note that the lien waiver form shown above is lifted directly from Florida Statutes § 713.20(5) and is by default an unconditional lien waiver. To turn it into a conditional lien waiver, you must add a statement that explicitly declares that the lien waiver will take effect only when payment is received.

Best practices before signing a Florida Waiver and Release of Lien Upon Final Payment

1. Ensure that you are using the correct Florida lien waiver

The Florida Waiver and Release of Lien Upon Final Payment must be used by parties who are receiving or expecting to receive their final payment for a project. Once this lien waiver takes effect, your lien rights over the entire project will be relinquished. If your work on a project is still ongoing, you should sign another type of Florida lien waiver, known as the Florida Waiver and Release of Lien Upon Progress Payment.

2. Turn your Florida lien waiver into a conditional waiver

A conditional lien waiver will protect you from potential non-payment because it only revokes your lien rights once payment is actually made. It is generally considered a good business practice to sign a conditional lien waiver whenever possible.

To turn your Florida final payment lien waiver into a conditional lien waiver, be sure to add a statement similar to the following:

“Pursuant to Florida Statutes § 713.20(6), this waiver is conditional and effective only when the claimant receives actual payment of the amount specified on this form.”

3. Verify that you have received your payment if using the default unconditional Florida lien waiver form

Sometimes a client may require you to sign the default lien waiver as prescribed by the law. If signing an unconditional lien waiver is unavoidable, you must always verify that you have received your payment in the bank before signing away your lien rights. Credit card transactions may get rejected or a cheque may bounce. Be sure that the money is ready for your disposal before you sign an unconditional lien waiver in Florida.

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