Homeowners want change to law that forces them to pay twice for repairs

Lawmakers have tried to change this law

Dozens of Tampa Bay area residents call Florida's lien law unfair because it forces them to pay twice for home repairs.

The law allows subcontractors and suppliers to go after the homeowner for payment even if the homeowner has paid for a job in full.

Lisa Monson was new to Florida when she re-roofed her home in 2012. She had never heard of Florida's lien law. State Statute 713 protects subcontractors and suppliers when the contractor who hired them for a job does not pay.

It allows subcontractors who have not been paid to put a lien on your property if they don't get paid.

Subcontractors and suppliers have 45 days to send a notice of lien to a homeowner. In many cases, like in the Monson’s, the job is complete and the contractor paid in full before the consumer receives a letter from an unpaid party.

This consumer could not believe they would have to pay twice for the roof on their home or face foreclosure. It is a story Hillsborough consumer protection's Eric Olsen has heard before. He advises homeowners to ask for a release of lien or proof the contractor has paid everyone on the job before issuing a final payment.

At this point the Monson's have had to hire an attorney and are negotiating the lien amount while their roofer has gone out of business. Multiple lawmakers have made attempts to amend the lien law but failed.

This week Sen. Wilton Simpson of New Port Richey introduced senate bill 460. If passed it would require subcontractors pursuing a lien to provide certain documents before a claim of lien is entered by the clerk of court.

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