Filling Out the Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit

Key lying on payment text

When in doubt, consult counsel when finalizing or filling out a contractor’s final payment affidavit.

February 3, 2020
David Adelstein - Florida Construction Legal Updates

When preparing a contractor’s final payment affidavit, I always suggest for a contractor (or anyone in privity of contract with the owner) to identify the undisputed amounts their accounting reflects is owed to ALL subcontractors, etc., regardless of whether that entity preserved their lien rights. If the contractor provided a payment bond, I footnote this simply to support that none of the lower-tiered subcontractors have lien rights or are the traditional “lienor.” (Thus, there is no prejudice to the owner if an entity is inadvertently omitted from the affidavit.)

There are times, however, where a contractor does not identify a subcontractor that did not serve a notice to owner and, therefore, has no valid lien rights. Or, a contractor omits a lienor that actually did serve a notice to owner and preserve its lien rights; this happens.

There was an older First District Court of Appeals case that harshly (and, quite, unfairly) held that the contractor must identify everyone in the final payment affidavit regardless of whether that entity timely served a notice to owner or their lien is invalid. This case, however, predated, a 1998 statutory change to Florida’s Lien Law.

Mr. Adelstein may be contacted at dma@kirwinnorris.com



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