3 Notice to Owner Mistakes That Could Kill Your Lien Rights

We have compiled a list of the three silliest and most common Notice to Owner mistakes that could cost you your lien rights!

Ariela Wagner
Ariela Wagner
Sep 8, 2021
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Sep 8, 2021
4 Mins

A Notice to Owner (NTO) is one of the most important documents in securing your construction lien rights. To prevent a mistake read the top 3 notice to owner mistakes that could kill your lien rights.

Top 3 Notice to Owner mistakes that you must avoid.

Mistake #1: Notice to Owner Florida Deadline Disasters

The deadline to send a Notice to Owner in Florida is not actually 45 days. Because the Notice to Owner form (NTO) actually has to be received, not just sent, by the 45th day from first furnishing labor and/or material. This little detail has killed many Notices to Owner for many subcontractors and suppliers.  

How to start counting your Notice to Owner Deadline

The very first step in how to count your Notice to Owner deadline is to determine your first day on the job. For specially-fabricated materials, the first day on the job starts when you start fabricating the materials, not when you deliver the products.  Here is the lowdown on the Florida Notice to Owner deadlines:

  1. All required parties that need to receive the Notice to Owner form must receive it by the 45th day;
  1. The 45th day excludes the date of first work;  
  1. The 45th day starts on the first calendar day thereafter (this is day 1 of 45);
  1. Includes all weekends and legal holidays counting continuously from day 1 until day 45;
  1. If the 45th day falls on a weekend or legal holiday, you can roll it to the next business day (thereby potentially getting up to 48 days to deliver the Florida NTO).

How can I avoid sending a Notice to Owner late?

  1. Develop an internal collections process to gather all the Florida NTO information you need. Download our free Florida Notice to Owner form which will help you obtain all the information you need to prepare your Notices to Owner.  
  1. Send your Notices to Owner as soon as you have a verbal or written contract. Do not wait until the final hour to send your NTOs.  

Need help? Track all your deadlines, view your notices to owners online, and create your waivers and releases of liens for free with SunRay.

Notice to Owner Florida

Mistake #2: Not sending the NTO to the right people

This is what usually happens: You go to file your lien and discover that the person that hired you is not the general contractor. but actually the sub-subcontractor.

Unfortunately, if you did not send your Notice to Owner to the General Contractor you cannot lien the project because you now have an invalid lien.

The second most common mistake is not sending an NTO to all required recipients. To avoid missing any recipients on your Notice to Owner, request a copy of the Notice of Commencement for the project and send a copy to everyone that is listed on the NOC.

Notice to Owner Form

Mistake #3: Sending a Notice to Owner by first class mail to the owner of the property

Your Notice to Owner form must be sent to certain recipients by certified mail otherwise your Florida NTO is invalid. The most common issue we see in this case is the NTO being sent via first class mail instead of by certified mail. If you are mailing your own NTOs and have a lot of them to send by certified mail, it can be extremely time consuming.

Key Takeaways

There are a lot of mistakes that can invalidate your lien rights when it comes to your Notice to Owner. Follow these 3 easy steps:

  1. Send your Notices to Owner as soon as you have a verbal or written contract.  
  1. Send your Notices to Owner to all required recipients  
  1. Send your Notices to Owner by certified mail to the required recipients
Notice to Owner Florida Form
Ariela Wagner
Ariela Wagner
Ariela is the president and founder of SunRay Construction Solutions. She has over 13 years of construction industry experience.
Preliminary Notice| SunRay Notice
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