Notices of Commencement

As noted in my “notices to owner” posts, companies performing work under the general contractor – for example, an electrician, plumber, roofer, etc. – are required by Florida law to deliver a “notice to owner” to the owner providing their contact information, what work they did and the name of the company they contracted with for the work. But how do these companies know where to send these notices, especially in the case of new construction? They are not mailing these notices to the empty lot, obviously.

This is where a notice of commencement comes in. The owner is required by law to fill out and record a notice of commencement. In fact, building departments will not issue a building permit until proof is provided that a notice of commencement has been recorded. So the first thing to know is that this notice is not optional. It is required.

What purpose does the notice serve? The notice of commencement lists the owner’s name and address where notices to owner may be sent. It also lists the contractor’s name and address and, if applicable, the lender’s name and address. Notices to owner may be sent to the owner, contractor and lender and frequently all three.

How do you prepare a notice of commencement? Most building departments will supply an owner with the form. If you are the owner, make sure you accurately fill out your address on the notice of commencement. Companies serving notices to owner are entitled to rely upon the address the owner lists, so if there is an error in the address and the owner does not receive the notice because of that error, the loss falls on the owner, not the party who attempted to deliver the notice to owner to the wrong address.

If you have any questions about notices of commencement or how they are prepared, please feel free to email me directly at reese.henderson@gray-robinson.com

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