When you perform work as a contractor on an Illinois property and never receive payment for the work performed, you may be able to use something called a mechanic’s lien to get everything owed to you. On the flip side, if you own a property someone takes out a mechanic’s lien against, you may have questions about how the lien works and whether you are responsible for paying the contractor who took it out.
Regardless of whether you are a contractor looking to take out a lien or a property owner dealing with one, understanding how mechanic’s liens work in Illinois may help you figure out how to move forward.
How mechanic’s liens work
Say you are working as a contractor and you supply materials, fixtures or machinery for a particular property. If you never receive payment for those expenses, you may take out a mechanic’s lien on the property. The lien prevents the owner from selling or transferring it until you receive payment in full. The lien also gives you the ability to foreclose on the property and have it sold so that you may recover everything owed to you.
When homeowners are responsible
For a homeowner to be responsible for paying off expenses that led to a mechanic’s lien, there must be a contract in place between the contractor and the homeowner specific to the work performed. The contract might be oral or written in nature. If a property has more than one owner, a single contract with any of the property owners typically suffices.
There are rules and deadlines you must follow as a contractor when taking out a mechanic’s lien against a property. Failing to adhere to these deadlines may leave you with limited options.