What is a Notice of Commencement (NOC), do I need to file one, and how do file my NOC?

This information, and other information on the Town website, is not intended to be legal advice or a complete explanation of property owners responsibilities in regard to construction projects. For more in-depth information and legal advice, please consult with a competent and experienced construction lawyer licensed in the State of Florida.

The Notice of Commencement (NOC) can be generally described as a form publicly filed in county records to signify that a construction project is beginning. The form identifies and describes the property and the improvements to be made, the names and addresses of the property owner and contractor, the lender’s name and address, and other required information.

In Florida, similar to other states, any subcontractor or supplier to a construction job can file a mechanics lien if they’re unpaid for work or materials provided to the job.   If a lien claim is filed against a job, regardless of whether the property owner paid the general contractor, the property owner may be required to pay the claim. This means you can be required to pay for the same work twice.  Florida law helps to provide protection to property owners against this undesirable scenario, but the Florida process to protect property owners against lien claims and double-payment must begin with the correct and timely recording of the NOC on the public records of the county.

Florida law (F.S. section 713.13(1)(a)) requires the property owner to file a NOC with the Lee County Clerk of the Court if the job valuation for their permitted work is greater than $2,500, or if there is a direct contract to repair or replace an existing heating or air-conditioning system is greater than $15,000 (F.S. section 713.135(1)(d)).

The exception is if a property owner has a construction loan to complete the job. In this scenario, the construction lender assumes the obligation to file the notice of commencement and to track all payments to contractors, suppliers, and vendors. In the event of any mismanagement or mistake by the construction lender, the lender is required to indemnify the owner.  As such, matters are much simpler for property owners when a construction lender is on the job.  

Property owners must get the NOC recorded on the County public records before the start of the job. It is not required that the NOC is recorded before obtaining the building permit. The NOC must be recorded before work begins on the project and the work must start within 90 days from the NOC’s filing.

Before scheduling the first inspection, the permit applicant must also email the recorded NOC to the Building Division and must post a copy of the recorded NOC at the job site. This must be provided to the Building Department in one of the two following ways (FS 713.135(d)):

Certified copy of the recorded NOC, or

A notarized statement from the owner, or the owner’s authorized agent, of the property stating that a NOC has been filed for recording to the Lee County Clerk of the Court, along with a copy of the NOC submitted for recording. The Lee County Clerk of the Court is located at 2115 Second Street in Fort Myers, or 1039 SE 9th Place in Cape Coral. For more information, please visit https://www.leeclerk.org/services/record-a-document

The property owner must also post a copy of the recorded NOC on the job site throughout construction in a weather protected condition, visible from the street, along with the permit and approved plans (available under uploaded files for the permit in the permit portal).

Note that to protect themselves against lien claims, property owners must follow all requirements in regard to Florida lien law including, but not limited to, making only proper payments. As an example, if a contractor provides the property owner with 45-day Notice to Owner, the property owner needs to obtain a lien release from their contractors and suppliers whenever they issue a payment to the contractor that includes work performed or materials provided by that contractor or suppliers.

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1. Am I in the jurisdiction of the Town of Fort Myers Beach if I have a Fort Myers Beach U.S. postal service address?
2. How long is my permit good for?
3. When is a permit required?
4. What happens if I choose not to obtain the required permits?
5. How do I submit my paperwork for a rebuild and obtain an issued permit?
6. Glass windows and doors--what is the requirement for replacement of windows and doors? Is there a requirement for a certain level of "hurricane" glass?
7. Where can I find the forms to submit a building permit application?
8. What is the current review period for building permits and how do I contact my reviewer?
9. PERMITS GENERAL (category)
10. What are the requirements for a site plan?
11. Which permit do I get for a temporary power pole?
12. Where can I send my general building permit questions? (i.e. fence, remodel, single family home, etc.)
13. How do I extend my permit that is issued but about to expire?
14. How much do permits cost?
15. How do I pay for my building permit?
16. Do I need a permit to Erect/ Replace a fence?
17. How do I check the status of an existing building permit?
18. How can I respond to a rejection letter that I received from one of the reviewers about my building permit application?
19. How can I submit my building permit application paperwork?
20. What happens if my permit expires?
21. What is a Notice of Commencement (NOC), do I need to file one, and how do file my NOC?
22. Should we get this far, what is the anticipated time frame for obtaining a building permit?
23. Are you currently issuing permits for repair of hurricane damaged homes, or will there be a delay before you begin to issue permits?
24. How close can a pool enclosure/pool be to a seawall?
25. Do I need a permit for a deck?
26. Do I need a permit for a Chickee hut?
27. Only drywall, baseboards, cabinets and finished flooring was damaged in our home. Do I need a building permit and repair/improvement cost form to repair these damages?
28. APPRAISALS (category)
29. Given that the appraisal is higher than the tax assessed value, will this trigger a requirement for a second appraisal?
30. Will an AVM "appraisal" be an accepted alternative appraisal method?
31. CONDOS (category)
32. What do I need if I live in a condo and want to replace my windows?
33. The bottom level of our building was severely damaged by the hurricane. Can ground level areas be rebuilt?
34. What is needed for minor Condo Renovations?
35. CODE (category)
36. How close can you get to a non-seawalled natural body of water (Rip Rap)?
37. What are the code requirements for construction in Fort Myers Beach?
38. What are the rules for swimming pool barriers in Florida and what are my responsibilities as a property owner?
39. CONTRACTORS (category)
40. Does the town have a list of registered contractors?
41. Do I need a contractor? What does it mean to be an "owner builder?"
42. Can you recommend an engineer/architect/contractor?
43. How does a contractor get registered with the Town of Fort Myers Beach?
44. DEMOLITION (category)
45. I’ve decided to demolish my building as it was substantially damaged. Will the city be removing my home?
46. How do I acquire a demolition permit?
47. I’ve decided to demolish my home. What is my next step?
48. ELEVATION (category)
49. Where do I find the elevation of my home?
50. Is it possible to elevate my existing building?
51. What is the “lowest floor” of a building and what is the elevation reference point which must be elevated above the minimum elevation?