What is a Contractor’s Final Affidavit (and when do I need to send one)?
By Alex Barthet
A contractor’s final affidavit is a document advising the owner of a property that the contractor is asking for final payment. The document lists any unpaid lienors. If there’s nobody that has lien rights and unpaid, there’s a section in the form to indicate that.
Know that this form titled contractor’s final affidavit and found in Florida’s lien law statute only needs to be sent by those that have a direct contract, also known as privity, with the owner. This means that you do not need to send a contractor’s final affidavit if you are a subcontractor because your contract is with the general contractor and not the owner. It is, however, important to note that if you’re a plumber, for example, and you have a direct contract with the owner, you are considered a contractor under the lien law. And as such, you would need to send a contractor’s final affidavit because you have a direct contract with the owner. Whether or not you are required to send a contractor’s final affidavit is less about the scope of work that you provide, but more about where you sit contractually with respect to the owner.
The contractor’s final affidavit while sworn under oath is different from a sworn statement that is sometimes requested by an owner or a contractor. While both documents are similar, they are not the same document.
What must a contractor’s final affidavit contain?
A contractor’s final affidavit must contain the name of the owner and the contractor. It also needs to have a statement saying that the contractor has completed the work, and it should list the amount that is currently due to the contractor. The contractor’s final affidavit is typically accompanied with the lien, but you can also send the contractor’s final affidavit before a lien is recorded.
This document also needs to include a statement that all the lienors have been paid, and it must list the name and the amount of any unpaid lienors. Finally, this document must be drafted and signed under oath before a notary. Here is a sample of the document.
CONTRACTOR’S FINAL PAYMENT AFFIDAVIT
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:
- He or she is the (title of affiant), of (name of contractor’s business), which does business in the State of