Dates to Observe: General Contractor Lien on Private Property

June 25, 2024
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Mechanics liens are essential legal tools that ensure general contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers receive compensation for their work on private property construction projects. At Grzymala Law Offices, our team of construction attorneys has extensive experience in navigating the Illinois Mechanics Lien Act, offering strong legal protections contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers, owners and developers.

Steps to Secure a Mechanics Lien

When it comes to securing payments in the construction industry, understanding the process and critical deadlines for filing a mechanics lien is essential for general contractors. In Illinois, the mechanics lien serves as a safeguard that ensures payment for contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers involved in construction projects on private property. This legal tool is detailed within the Illinois Mechanics Lien Act, providing a structured path to secure your dues legally and effectively.

Completion of Work

Identifying the completion or last date of work is a pivotal fact of the lien process. This date is crucial because it directly affects the timeline for filing a mechanics lien. Under the Illinois Mechanics Lien Act, a mechanics lien claim must be filed within four months of the last day of work performed on the property. For general contractors, this timeline is stringent; missing this deadline can lead to a forfeiture of lien rights, leaving you unprotected and potentially unpaid.

Filing the Lien

The actual filing of the mechanics lien involves detailed and accurate documentation. To successfully file a lien, a contractor must prepare a lien claim that succinctly outlines the owed amount, a brief description of the contract and work performed, the last date of work or furnishing, and a precise legal description of the property involved. This document must be filed with the county recorder’s office in the county where the property is located. The accuracy of this lien claim is paramount; errors in the documentation can compromise the lien’s enforceability, thus endangering your right to compensation.

Checklist of Critical Timeline for Filing Mechanics Liens

Here’s a detailed list of important dates that general contractors should be aware of when dealing with mechanics liens in Illinois, to ensure compliance and protection under the Illinois Mechanics Lien Act:

  • Four Months from Last Day of Work
    Deadline to File or Record the Mechanics Lien in the county where the subject property lies: For general contractors, it is critical to file the lien within this period. Filing after this deadline will make it good only against the origina owner and not any lenders or subsequent owners, jeopardizing your right to secure payment.
  • Two Years from Lien Filing:
    Deadline to Enforce the Mechanics Lien: To enforce the lien, a lawsuit must be initiated within this two-year period in the county where the property lies. Failing to take legal action before this deadline will result in the expiration of the lien rights.
  • Annually (Recommended):
    Review and Update Legal Knowledge:
    Laws and regulations can change; it is advisable for contractors to review the Illinois Mechanics Lien Act and related legal requirements annually with an Illinois mechanics lien attorney to ensure ongoing compliance.

Protect Your Right to Payment

Understanding and utilizing mechanics liens are crucial for any general contractor working with private property in Illinois. Grzymala Law Offices is dedicated to helping clients secure their rights and payments efficiently and effectively. We have successfully represented numerous clients in securing their payments through mechanics liens. Whether you’re facing payment issues or need legal advice on your lien rights, we are here to help. Let us assist you in ensuring your work is rewarded—contact us today for a consultation and secure the payment you rightfully deserve.