By Alexander Barthet

Contractors are regularly called back at the end of each job to address a punch list of items not quite done to the owner’s satisfaction or not yet fully completed. Generally these are more touch up tasks than substantive work.

When an electrician wasn’t paid, it filed its claim of lien on the 95th day after it had last worked on the job site, believing that since it had gone back on day 94 to tackle some final punch list items the time frame for its filing would be extended. The owner cried foul, saying the claim was filed late. The court agreed.

Corrective work is not last work

The time periods in which a claimant must give notice and file its claim are strictly interpreted. The electrician argued that its cutoff date should be extended to account for the work done to actually activate certain circuits and to complete several punch list items. But his arguments fell on deaf ears. Florida’s courts have made clear for some time that remedial or corrective work does not extend the time for filing a claim. Such work is merely incidental to a completed contract and is not considered material.

This electrician had to file his claim within 90 days of last doing work, not last being at the jobsite.

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