Florida Engineers Do Not Have To File A Notice To Owner To Lien A Property

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First, What is a Notice To Owner (NTO)?
This notice alerts a homeowner in Florida that someone has or will provide improvements to their property, either by furnishing services or materials. It puts the owner on legal notice that they now have a responsibility to make certain that that person gets paid, if not, that person may place a lien upon the property. It is an important document and establishes the lien rights of those that work on your house, you should pay careful attention to it and make certain that those that send you this notice get paid.

Second, Do you always need an NTO to file a lien and get paid?
Not necessarily. Contractors and material suppliers typically must file an NTO within 45 days of providing their service.


Design professionals such as architects and engineers automatically have lien rights as soon as a contract for work is executed (even if the work is never finished). Of course there are limitations and each case is different, Florida Statue FS 713.03 states the following:

713.03 Liens for professional services

(1) Any person who performs services as architect, landscape architect, interior designer, engineer, or surveyor and mapper, subject to compliance with and the limitations imposed by this part, has a lien on the real property improved for any money that is owing to him or her for his or her services used in connection with improving the real property or for his or her services in supervising any portion of the work of improving the real property, rendered in accordance with his or her contract and with the direct contract.
(2) Any architect, landscape architect, interior designer, engineer, or surveyor and mapper who has a direct contract and who in the practice of his or her profession shall perform services, by himself or herself or others, in connection with a specific parcel of real property and subject to said compliances and limitations, shall have a lien upon such real property for the money owing to him or her for his or her professional services, regardless of whether such real property is actually improved.
(3) No liens under this section shall be acquired until a claim of lien is recorded. No lienor under this section shall be required to serve a notice to owner as provided in s. 713.06(2) or an affidavit concerning unpaid lienors as provided in s. 713.06(3).


Other states adopt similar rules.  This Florida guideline will make it easier for you to search for your state’s current ruling on the topic.

Last Update: March 31, 2021  

March 11, 2016  Codes & Standards, General  
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