The 2019 Florida Legislative Session recently concluded and a number of important construction-related House Bills (HB) and Senate Bills (SB) were presented during the Session. Below is a summary of those construction-related bills set to become law in 2019.
Bills Becoming Law in 2019
HB 1247: Relating to Construction Bonds. This bill passed both the House and the Senate and is awaiting the Governor’s signature. Once the Governor has approved the bill it becomes effective as of October 1, 2019.
This bill addresses how to properly perfect a claim against a contractor’s payment bond.
(1) The Notice of Nonpayment that must be served on the contractor and the surety, must be made under oath and include the following provisions:
The nature of the labor or services performed or to be performed;
The materials furnished or to be furnished;
The amount paid on the account; and if known, the amount owed and the amount to become due.
A Notice of Nonpayment that includes the sums for retainage must specify the portion of the amount claimed for retainage.
(2) A subcontractor, laborer, or material supplier (claimant) who files a fraudulent Notice of Nonpayment loses their rights under the bond. The filing of a fraudulent notice is a complete defense to claimant’s claim against the bond. A notice is fraudulent if the claimant willfully exaggerated the amount due, willfully included a claim for work not performed or materials not furnished or prepared the notice with willful and gross negligence, which resulted in willful exaggeration. However, a minor mistake in the notice, or a good faith dispute as to the amount due, is not considered fraudulent. Please note that this provision mirrors the existing statute relative to a fraudulent lien.