Protecting Yourself Against Lien Claims

By: Gary Kaleita

If you are a commercial Landlord or property manager, hopefully you are taking advantage of a Florida statute that allows you to limit the Landlord’s liability for lien claims resulting from work performed by your Tenants’ contractors pursuant to their Leases.  All you need to do to get the benefit of this statute is: (i) include a provision in your Leases that precludes the Tenants’ contractors from claiming liens against the Landlord’s interest in the property, and (ii) record a notice to that effect in the public records of the County where the property is located.

If a Notice of Commencement gets recorded for the tenant’s work, it should never be signed by the Landlord.  The Tenant that is doing the work is the party who contracted for it, so the Tenant should sign the Notice of Commencement, which should state that the “property” being improved is the Tenant’s leasehold interest (not the Landlord’s interest).

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