Lien law catches another homeowner off guard

Home owner faces lien

When it came time to re-roof his home, Bill Massaro thought he covered all of the dos and don'ts.  He sought out multiple quotes then hired a licensed contractor.  Bill checked on the permit and set up payments tied to the jobs progress.

It was only after the contractor finished the roof and collected payment in full that the homeowner discovered a problem.

Turns out the contractor never paid the materials supplier.  Bill Massaro had no idea Florida's construction lien law requires homeowners like him to obtain written proof of payment to subs and suppliers from the contractor. The materials supplier placed a lien against his home.

Consumer advocates, including attorney Charles Gallagher, blame the complexities of Florida Statute 713 for the fact homeowners don't know how to protect themselves from a lien until they are hit with one.

Several state lawmakers have proposed amending the law, but it has never gotten off the ground in Tallahassee.

The burden remains squarely on consumers to verify that every sub contractor and supplier has been paid in full before the contractor collects final payment for the job.  As for Bill Massaro, he hopes others learn from his expensive lesson.

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