We hear this term, lienor, but it is often misunderstood. One does not have to record a Claim of Lien to be a lienor. The Act provides that anyone who has the right to file a Construction lien is a lienor. Previously we discussed what types of work might be liened. That consideration is a first step. Once your activity fits into one of those types of services, you are on the road to being known as a lienor.
Pursuant to Florida law there are six categories of potential lienors. These include the Contractor; any Subcontractor; any Sub-subcontractor; any Laborer; any Materialman and any Professional Lienor. If you do not fall within one of these categories you are likely not a lienor and not able to record a valid Claim of Lien. The Act defines each of these six categories. While the general contractor, subcontractor and sub-subcontractor are common terms, the others require a bit more explanation.For instance, a Laborer is a person, not a corporation, who is not a professional, but who, pursuant to an authorized contract, personally performs labor or services for improving the property and does not furnish materials or labor service for others. It is an important distinction as the Claim of Lien of a laborer has the highest priority.
There may also be confusion in identifying a Materialman as entities in this category provide materials pursuant to a contract with the Owner, the Contractor, a Subcontractor or the Sub-subcontractor. However, a materialman to a Materialman does not have lien rights and thus is not a lienor. A professional lienor includes an architect, a landscape architect, an interior designer, an engineer or a surveyor and mapper. Any lienor, whether for professional services or for construction services,who is required to be licensed in the state or local jurisdiction may not claim a lien in the absence of the required license.
Of course any of the entities in these categories may lose their status as “lienors” if they do not follow the requirements of the Construction Lien Act to perfect their Claim of Lien. As with almost any issue concerning the Florida Construction Lien Act, whether you are a contractor, an owner, an architect, or an engineer, we suggest you review your contract provisions that address payment and any pending claims on existing projects with your attorney.