By Alexander Barthet

What happens if you filed your claim of lien with a typo, misprint or other insignificant mistake? Not much, not if you have substantially complied with the Notice to Owner and Claim of Lien requirements as to content and time. As any Florida construction lawyer will tell you, minor errors or omissions should not prevent the enforcement of a Claim of Lien against a person who has not been adversely affected by such omission or error. Complying with all the technical statutory components for filing a claim, while desirable, is neither required nor should it form the basis for denial of the enforcement of an otherwise valid lien. But a lienor must still be careful. All this could quickly change if some prejudice is shown to the owner or another affected party.

A lienor should not intend to rely on the equity of a court to overlook an error in a Claim of Lien or Notice to Owner.  This would be a gamble with dire consequences.  Similarly, an owner should not expect that a technical oversight on the part of a lienor will necessarily result in an invalid lien. This is especially true if the owner was aware of the error early on and chose to do nothing about it.

All in all, a lienor would be smart to catch and correct any errors, no matter how minor, before filing that Florida claim of lien.