Effect of Covid-19 on Deadlines for Issuing Construction Notices
To minimize the spread of Covid-19, commonly known as Coronavirus, the public has been encouraged to avoid gathering in large groups and practice social distancing by avoiding contact with persons not necessary to day-to-day life. In carrying out the goal to minimize the spread of Covid-19, many government-run facilities have closed to the public and businesses have been dealing with having their personnel work from home. This, in turn, has disrupted the accepted patterns of doing business for the foreseeable future.
While adapting to the current state of affairs, it is important to remember that Florida law related to securing lien rights and securing the right to make claims on bonds have always been strictly construed. Assuring that you as a laborer, supplier, subcontractor, or subcontractor can maximize collection on your open accounts will help you navigate through the economic uncertainty being spread by Covid-19. So what should you know?
Notice to Owners / Contractors:
Neither the closure of businesses, the closure of project-sites, nor stop-work directives will generally toll the time you have to serve a notice to owner / contractor. It is important that your notice to owner / contractor be served on the necessary parties within 45-days of the first date you furnished labor, services, materials, or rental equipment to the project.
Calculating your last date of work:
In addition to needing to understand what counts as last date of work within the purview of Florida construction law, it is important to recognize that Covid-19 may cause your last date of work to come sooner rather than later due to the indefinite interruption of construction projects. This calculation can be especially tricky if you are a rental equipment company whose equipment remained on a project site, but is not in-use during the pandemic. To take a conservative approach at securing lien and bond rights, you should calculate your last date of work from the last date you performed work, from the last date you delivered materials to the project, or the last date your equipment was available for use prior to the project site closing. The anticipation of future work on the same project should not cause you to forego filing a lien or bond claim if you are approaching 90 days from your last date of work.
Liens need to be recorded in the official records of the county where the project is located. One of the issues with which