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Qualified Business Licenses (QBLs) no longer needed

For over a decade, construction businesses in Florida have been required to obtain and maintain Qualified Business Licenses (QBLs). No more. As of October 1, 2009, the amendment to Chapter 489 of the Florida Statutes eliminated all traces of QBLs — called “certificates of authority” within the statutes themselves. Among other things, the amendment clears up any ongoing confusion as to whethe...

Including Overhead and Profit when Compiling Lien Amounts

Overbroad statements in case law have left some with the incorrect impression that contractors may not include charges for overhead and profit charges when compiling their lien amounts. The confusion is due in large part to Martin v. Jack Yanks Construction Co., 650 So. 2d 120, 121-22 (Fla. 3d DCA 1995) , where the court stated that “recovery for overhead and profit as separate items are not wit...
Custom-Made Materials in Construction Liens and Bonds

Custom-Made Materials in Construction Liens and Bonds

When it comes to materials, a contractor or supplier may generally only make a claim of lien or claim against a bond for materials actually delivered to and incorporated into the property. However, all too often, construction projects get cancelled or contractors get terminated before all materials are incorporated into the property. For contractors or suppliers with materials custom-made off-site...
Power of Arbitrator Upheld

Power of Arbitrator Upheld

The Courts have again addressed the powers of an arbitrator in Commercial Interiors Corporation of Boca Raton v. Pinkerton & Laws, Inc. This case involved a claim between a general contractor and a subcontractor. The contracts at issue had binding arbitration clauses. The Subcontractor initially brought suit for failure to pay and the general contractor filed a motion to compel arbitration and to ...
2009 Florida Legislative Final Review

2009 Florida Legislative Final Review

We are pleased to present our annual review of the legislation impacting the construction industry. It is not intended to be an exhaustive review of all of the changes brought about by these pieces of legislation, but to highlight what appears to us to be the significant changes. The full text of the bills can be found on our website....

Incorporation by Reference Clauses in a Contract

The purpose of the type of contract provision is to bring another document into the contract without fully setting forth the incorporated document. It places "hidden" obligations in your contract. Since these clauses are enforced by the Florida courts, the old saw "ignorance is bliss" is an invitation to disaster....

Changes Clause in a Contract

Changes in the work or claims for changes in the work are where we see the greatest volume of problems. As a practical matter, problems and changed circumstances which were not foreseen at the time the parties signed the contract will arise during every construction project. A changes clause provides the vehicle by which, without breaching the original contract, changes can be ordered to add work,...

Acceleration

Acceleration of a contractor's performance may arise in two situations. The first situation occurs when a specific order is issued under the express contract to complete the project prior to the originally scheduled completion date....

Fraudulent Liens

Florida Statute Section 713.31 provides that where a lien claimant has willfully exaggerated the amount of the lien, or has compiled the lien in a grossly negligent manner, such action is a complete defense to enforcement of the lien. In addition, and of critical importance to lienors, an injured party such as the owner may assert an affirmative claim of its own against the lienor for damages, cos...

“Pay When Paid” Provisions and Bonds

One of the more problematical contract clauses under Florida law is the payment clause in a subcontract where the general contractor seeks to avoid payment to the subcontractor or supplier until payments are received from the owner. These so-called "pay when paid" provisions in subcontracts are usually classified as either condition precedent or time of payment provisions....

Checklist For Construction Liens and Surety Bonds

1. Contractors and Suppliers Contracting Directly with the Owner Ensure that owner has recorded and posted Notice of Commencement prior to starting work or delivering materials; Record Claim of Lien in the county where the property is located within 90 days of final furnishing of labor, services or materials; Serve copy of Claim of lien on owner either before or within 15 days of ...

Supreme Court Ruling Impacts Contractors

The Supreme Court recently issued a ruling which will impact all contractors doing business with public bodies. In County of Brevard v. Miorelli Engineering, Inc., the Court dealt with a situation where the County contracted with Miorelli to build a spring training facility for the Florida Marlins. After work had commenced on the facility, the County terminated the contract and withheld amounts du...