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Perfecting Your Mechanic's Lien in Illinois

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Naperville Real Estate Attorney

lien, materialman's lien, Illinois Real Estate AttorneyA mechanic's lien, also called a materialman's lien, is intended to prioritize the rights of contractors and suppliers to be paid for the construction or improvement of property. A claim filed on a mechanic's lien generally takes precedence over mortgages, leases, and other financial obligations of the property owner or lessor. A mechanic's lien can be a valuable tool for contractors and subcontractors, but only if the proper procedures have been followed.

Perfecting a Mechanic's Lien

A contractor or other party looking to enforce a mechanic's lien will often be limited in their ability to do so unless the lien has been perfected. To begin this process, subcontractors and material suppliers must follow a few steps under Illinois law, since such individuals and companies often do not have a direct contract with the owner of the property. The specifics of the notice required for perfecting the lien depend on the type of project, with different mandates for single-family residences and all other properties.

Preliminary Notice

When seeking payment for services on a single-family dwelling, subcontractors must serve notice to the occupant of the residence and respective lenders within 60 days of beginning work clearly stating the subcontractor's right to file a lien. The notice must include:

  • The subcontractor's name and address;
  • Starting date of work or delivery of materials;
  • Type of work or materials provided; and
  • The name of the contractor requesting work or materials.

Similar notice must be served to the owner or the owner's agent with 90 days of beginning work for any other type of property.

Intent to File

If the subcontractor's payment is still outstanding upon completion of the work, the subcontractor must serve notice to the occupants, owners, and lenders of the intent to file a mechanic's lien. This notice must be served within 90 days from the last day of work and is required to include:

  • The subcontractor's name and address;
  • The name of the hiring contractor;
  • Specifics regarding work or materials provided;
  • Location and description of the property at which the work was completed; and
  • The outstanding amount due.

Recording a Mechanic's Lien

In order to maintain the full enforceability of the lien, the next step for contractors or subcontractors is to properly record the lien in the appropriate jurisdiction. The lien must be recorded within four months of the last day of work, and is to be filed in the office of the recorder of the county in which the work was provided. A contractor who records a lien against an owner-occupied single-family home must provide written notice to the owner within ten days after recording.

As a business owner and a contractor, you understand the importance of being paid properly for services rendered and materials provided. A mechanic's lien may be an ideal way to safeguard your investment in a particular project. If you are preparing to accept a contract or begin work on any type of property, contact an experienced DuPage County real estate attorney today. We can help you through the lien process and protect both you and your company.

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