Section 713.13, F.S., provides that the recording of a Notice of Commencement (NOC) gives constructive notice that claims of lien may be recorded and will have priority over any conveyance, encumbrance or demand not recorded against the real property prior to the time the notice is recorded. However, any conveyance, encumbrance or demand recorded prior to the time the notice is recorded and any proceeds thereof, regardless of when disbursed, shall have priority over liens. The NOC must be recorded with the clerk of the court where the property is located by the owner or the owner’s agent before a contractor actually begins an improvement to real property or recommences completion of any improvement after default or abandonment. A certified copy of the recorded notice or a notarized statement of filing and a copy must be posted at the jobsite. The NOC must include the legal description of the property, the street address and the tax folio number, if available. It must also include a general description of the improvement, the name and address of the owner, the name and address of the contractor, the name and address of any person designated to receive notices, and the anticipated expiration date if different from one year. The form for the NOC is provided in s. 713.13(1)(d), F.S.
For contracts greater than $2,500, the applicant for the building permit must file a certified copy of the recorded notice or a notarized statement of filing and a copy with the building permit authority. The notice must be filed before the first inspection or the property will not be inspected.7
A NOC is specifically not required prior to issuing a building permit.
The building permit must include a 14-point capitalized notice regarding the filing of a NOC. All liens from persons who do work to improve a property relate back to the filing of the NOC.
The NOC is valid for 1 year, unless otherwise stated in the notice. Any payments made by the owner after the expiration of the NOC are considered to be improper payments.
If the improvement described in the NOC is not commenced within 90 days of the recording of the notice, then the notice is “void and of no further effect” which results in any payments after that time also being improper.
Ray Garcia, Esq.
Board Certified in Real Estate Law
by the Florida Bar