Supplier’s Lien Not Always Enforceable

Suppliers Lien Not Always EnforceableA supply house accepts an order from a general contractor for a number of closet doors. The supply house has the closet doors fabricated in line with the specifications provided by the general contractor. But when the doors are delivered to the job site, the owner quickly discovers they are the wrong size. The owner fires the general contractor and advises the supply house that the closet doors were all wrong and non-conforming.

Does the supply house have lien rights against the owner’s property? After all, it fabricated exactly what the general contractor told it to make.

Not in Florida, where the applicable statute states that a lienor not in privity with the owner (the supply house in our example), can only have its lien enforced if materials were furnished “in accordance with his contract and with the direct contract.” Here the owner’s contract with the general contractor was at variance with the claim of lien – the owner asked for “x” and it received “y”.

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