How are liens waived, released, and satisfied?
Liens are waived and released through documentation. Now it all depends where you’re at in the project. If it’s during the project, before completion, the owner can and should require a waiver upon a progress payment or a progress payment waiver. Basically, I’ve paid this much through this point in time, and I should have a waiver back from the contractor or subcontractor evidencing that. The waiver itself is a document, and that document should substantially conform to the statutory form.
[Legal resource: Florida Statutes 713.20(4)]
Another type of document is used when the work has been completed by the GC or the subcontractor. Basically, that document says that particular contractor or sub has been paid in full for its work, and it’s releasing its right to file a claim of lien later. See Florida Statutes 713.20(5)
Now, if a particular contractor actually “files” a claim of lien, that means a claim of lien has been recorded in the public records in the county where the improved property is located. To officially get rid of a recorded lien, the owner must obtain a satisfaction and discharge of that lien. The satisfaction and discharge is a document signed by the lienor, and it needs to get recorded in the public records (because a claim of lien has already been filed/recorded).
[Legal resource: Florida Statutes 713.21]