Can a pool contractor place a lien on my home when it is not complete, it has a leak and wrong filter.

swimming pool pic

QUESTION:  I contracted for a pool and have had nothing but problems. I have paid this guy over $32,000 but still owe the final payment of $1600. My pool has a leak and my filter is not the correct one, I also have a yard that has not been graded. To this date he refuses to fix the pool clean the yard or replace the filter but he has issued a lien on my property. I was in the process of refinancing and am unable to do so because of this lien. I am so upset about the pool and really don’t know which way to go with this. Are there any liens I can put on him for lack of completion for shabby construction or whatever. I would appreciate any help you can give me and I so thank you for your time. Maria

ANSWER:

Have you considered seeing a board certified construction attorney? There are numerous ways to push the lien issue. Each of the attorneys answering so far has set them forth. F.S. §§713.21 and 713.22 allow an owner to choose a procedure to force a lienor to take action. While F.S. §713.21(4) requires the lienor to foreclose a claim of lien or show cause why the lien should not be discharged within 20 days. This WILL REQUIRE AN ATTORNEY.

No attorney is required for the following: F.S. §713.22(2) permits an owner to shorten the one-year period in subsection (1) of the statute down to a period of 60 days by recording a “notice of contest of lien” in the clerk’s office. The statute includes a suggested form for the notice and further states:

The lien of any lienor upon whom such notice is served and who fails to institute a suit to enforce his or her lien within 60 days after service of such notice shall be extinguished automatically. The clerk shall mail a copy of the notice of contest to the lien claimant at the address shown in the claim of lien or most recent amendment thereto and shall certify to such service on the face of such notice and record the notice. Service shall be deemed complete upon mailing.

As in the case of F.S. §713.21(4), the purpose of contesting the lien by filing a notice is to speed up the lienor’s extended one-year statutory right to foreclose. Boston v. Ames Appliance Center, Inc., 312 So. 2d 548 (Fla. 3d DCA 1975). Moreover, the notice of contest of lien shortens the one-year period for claims against an F.S. §713.23 payment bond and an F.S. §713.24 transfer bond down to 60 days.

Good luck and consider a phone call to the contractor to see what can be done. Peace.

Posted on Avvo by Christopher J. Weiss, Esq.

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