If you are a contractor, sub-contractor, or anyone who supplies materials or labor for them, then you need to make sure that you know what the Mechanic Lien Law in Illinois is all about.

There are deadlines, requirements and limitations that must be followed if you want to be able to file a lien on property for non-payment for the work you completed, or the materials you supplied.

Knowing Lien Law in Chicago

The deadlines and filing requirements are different depending on what type of work you performed. Let’s take a look at each category:

Illinois Lien Law: Main Contractors.

The main contractor is does not need to file a preliminary notice in order to file a lien in the State of Illinois. Their claim for a Illinois Mechanic Lien must be substantiated and recorded by the contractor within the four months following the end of the contract. This protects the contractor against claims by third parties and the owner. The main contractor then has 2 years from the completion of the contract to file claims of a lien action against the owner.

Any action by the main contractor to foreclose on a mechanics lien must be recorded, along with a lis pendens notice. This must be completed within the 2 years following completion of the contract. If the owner contests the lien claim and sues the main contractor, then the main contractor has 30 days to file an action to foreclose on the mechanics lien.

Illinois Lien Law: Sub-Contractors and Suppliers

For a sub-contractor or supplier the requirements are different than those of a main contractor. The sub-contractor or supplier is required to file a notice of lien with in 60 (sixty) days after beginning work on a job, if the job is on a single family, owner occupied residence.

To file a lien in Illinois a sub-contractor or supplier is required under law to serve a notice to owners, or any agent of the owner, before 90 days after completion of the work they were hired to do. A substantiated claim of the Illinois Mechanics Lien must be recorded no longer than 4 months after the last day on the job. Meeting this requirement will secure the sub-contractor’s or supplier’s rights over third parties or other sub-contractors or suppliers who may file later. The requirements regarding foreclosure to enforce a lien are the same for the main contractor and sub-contractors or suppliers.