Florida has powerful lien laws for most people working on a home – most, but not all, or at least not for all of their work. The way the law is written has left gaps, whether the legislature intended them or not. For instance, a landscaper will be able to put a lien on a house where he planted something new. But if that same company goes on to provide mowing and trimming services, it will not be allowed to impose a lien for amounts due for “maintenance landscape.” That is because the law is written to allow liens for unpaid amounts due toward permanent improvements only. Permanence is interpreted loosely – unlike diamonds, few plants last forever. But maintenance does not rise to that level, however loose an interpretation one puts on it, and unpaid bills for yard maintenance will have to be pursued without the benefit of a lien.
Various parts of the lien statutes offer other professions some protection. If you clean (or work on) planes or boats, you can place a lien on those. An employee owed unpaid wages may even obtain a lien against a company’s inventory . But if you clean up the mess in someone’s year instead of on their boat, lien laws will not help.
What is lienable or not is another of the law’s many complexities, and consulting a lawyer may be worth the effort.