My father wants a new roof. My mother is living out of state. They both are listed as owners on their deed. The roofing contractor(s) told him that he'd either have to get her to sign the documents, or get power of attorney and sign in her stead.

Is this actually the case in Florida? Is this the case elsewhere in the U.S.?

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    While it's an interesting question, it would be much better asked of a lawyer, not a handyperson. – Joe Makes Things Jul 5 '16 at 18:13
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    The roofing contractor wants to place a lien on the property to try to make sure he'll get paid (either by the current owners of the property or by whoever they might sell it to). All of the current owners of the property would need to sign off on that. – brhans Jul 5 '16 at 18:13
  • I'll follow up with my dad, but I thought he was going to pay cash. – TecBrat Jul 5 '16 at 18:14
  • If he is a licensed and bonded contractor with a contract he can put a lien on the property if you don't pay. I might find another contractor and don't pay for work not done materials not delivered. – Ed Beal Jul 5 '16 at 18:40
  • Uh, sign documents? What "documents"? If your contractor is expecting you to "sign documents", something is not right. Are you not paying him? Are you trying to get him to fix your roof on credit? – Tyler Durden Jul 5 '16 at 18:48

I believe @brhans is right. You don't need to have anyone on the deed of a house involved in the work of said house by any state law. However some states may require some documentation for a contractor to possess a lien on the house.

For instance if your dad's roof started leaking and he needed to fix it ASAP, no one would require your mom's signature on it. To take it a step further you could legally hire a company to give your mom and dad a present of a new roof (however they could tell company not to do work or sue you if it caused them financial harm.)

The contractor needing a lien may not be warranted. Tell your dad to speak to the crew and work out a schedule of payment that they find acceptable. For instance he could pay for materials and pay for 1/3 labor up front and then pay incrementally. If it is a well trusted roofing company I would then pay 1/3 the first day they show up and then 1/3 upon completion - this could be held in an escrow account or some companies will accept credit card.

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  • This is one of the reasons you pay someone to do a 'title search' when you purchase a property. You want to be sure there aren't any liens on it from contractors who weren't paid for work done because if there are, you will become responsible for paying them. – brhans Jul 5 '16 at 18:57
  • @brhans - yes and the "fix" on this industry are the "title" companies that charge you 1k for doing this 10 min search. – DMoore Jul 5 '16 at 19:00

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