Illinois Mechanics Liens



Illinois Compiled Statutes
- Liens -
Mechanics Lien Act


(770 ILCS 60/0.01 et seq.)


(770 ILCS 60/0.01)
Sec. 0.01. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Mechanics Lien Act. (Source: P.A. 86-1324.)

(770 ILCS 60/1)
Sec. 1. Any person who shall by any contract or contracts, express or implied, or partly expressed or implied, with the owner of a lot or tract of land, or with one whom the owner has authorized or knowingly permitted to contract, to improve the lot or tract of land or to manage a structure thereon, or to furnish material, fixtures, apparatus or machinery, forms or form work used in the process of construction where cement, concrete or like material is used for the purpose of or in the building, altering, repairing or ornamenting any house or other building, walk or sidewalk, whether the walk or sidewalk is on the land or bordering thereon, driveway, fence or improvement or appurtenances to the lot or tract of land or connected therewith, and upon, over or under a sidewalk, street or alley adjoining; or fill, sod or excavate such lot or tract of land, or do landscape work thereon or therefor; or raise or lower any house thereon or remove any house thereto, or remove any house or other structure therefrom, or perform any services or incur any expense as an architect, structural engineer, professional engineer, land surveyor or property manager in, for or on a lot or tract of land for any such purpose; or drill any water well thereon; or furnish or perform labor or services as superintendent, time keeper, mechanic, laborer or otherwise, in the building, altering, repairing or ornamenting of the same; or furnish material, fixtures, apparatus, machinery, labor or services, forms or form work used in the process of construction where concrete, cement or like material is used, or drill any water well on the order of his agent, architect, structural engineer or superintendent having charge of the improvements, building, altering, repairing or ornamenting the same, is known under this Act as a contractor, and has a lien upon the whole of such lot or tract of land and upon adjoining or adjacent lots or tracts of land of such owner constituting the same premises and occupied or used in connection with such lot or tract of land as a place of residence or business; and in case the contract relates to 2 or more buildings, on 2 or more lots or tracts of land, upon all such lots and tracts of land and improvements thereon for the amount due to him for such material, fixtures, apparatus, machinery, services or labor, and interest at the rate of 10% per annum from the date the same is due. This lien extends to an estate in fee, for life, for years, or any other estate or any right of redemption, or other interest which the owner may have in the lot or tract of land at the time of making such contract or may subsequently acquire. The taking of additional security by the contractor or sub-contractor is not a waiver of any right of lien which he may have by virtue of this Act, unless made a waiver by express agreement of the parties and the waiver is not prohibited by this Act. This lien attaches as of the date of the contract. (Source: P.A. 86-807; 87-361.)

(770 ILCS 60/1.1)
Sec. 1.1. An agreement to waive any right to enforce or claim any lien under this Act where the agreement is in anticipation of and in consideration for the awarding of a contract or subcontract, either express or implied, to perform work or supply materials for an improvement upon real property is against public policy and unenforceable. This Section does not prohibit subordination or release of a lien granted under this Act. (Source: P.A. 87-361.)

(770 ILCS 60/2)
Sec. 2. Any person furnishing services, labor or material for the erection of a building, or structure, or improvement, by mistake upon land owned by another than the party contracting as owner, shall have a lien for such services, labor or material upon such building, or structure or improvement, and the court, in the enforcement of such lien, shall order and direct such building, structure or improvement to be separately sold under its judgment, and the purchaser may remove the same within such reasonable time as the court may fix. (Source: P.A. 84-452; 84-545.)

(770 ILCS 60/3)
Sec. 3. If any such services or labor are performed upon or materials are furnished for lands belonging to any married person, with the married person's knowledge and not against the married person's protest in writing, as provided in Section 1 of this Act, in pursuance of a contract with the spouse of such married person, the person furnishing such labor or materials shall have a lien upon such property, the same as if such contract had been made with the married person, and in case the title to such lands upon which improvements are made is held by husband and wife jointly, the lien given by this act shall attach to such lands and improvements, if the improvements be made in pursuance of a contract with both of them, or in pursuance of a contract with either of them, and in such cases no claim of homestead right set up by a husband or wife shall defeat the lien given by this Act. (Source: P. A. 78-846.)

(770 ILCS 60/4)
Sec. 4. When the owner of the land shall fail to pay the contractor moneys justly due him under the contract at the time when the same should be paid, or fails to perform his part of the contract in any other manner, the contractor may discontinue work, and the contractor shall not be held liable for any delay on his part during the period of, or caused by, such breach of contract on the part of the owner; and if after such breach for the period of ten days the owner shall fail to comply with his contract, the contractor may abandon the work, and in such a case the contractor shall be entitled to enforce his lien for the value of what has been done, and the court shall adjust his claim and allow him a lien accordingly. In such cases all persons furnishing material which has not been incorporated in the improvement shall have the right to take possession of and remove the same if he so elects. (Source: Laws 1903, p. 230.)

(770 ILCS 60/5)
Sec. 5. It shall be the duty of the contractor to give the owner, and the duty of the owner to require of the contractor, before the owner or his agent, architect, or superintendent shall pay or cause to be paid to the contractor or to his order any moneys or other consideration due or to become due to the contractor, or make or cause to be made to the contractor any advancement of any moneys or any other consideration, a statement in writing, under oath or verified by affidavit, of the names and addresses of all parties furnishing materials and labor and of the amounts due or to become due to each. Merchants and dealers in materials only shall not be required to make statements required in this Section.
Each contractor shall provide each owner, either as part of the contract or as a separate printed statement, the following:
If printed in the contract, the statement shall be set in type that is at least the same size as the largest type used in the body of the contract and is bold face or another font that clearly contrasts with and sets the statement apart from the rest of the body of the contract.
It shall be the duty of each subcontractor who has furnished, or is furnishing, materials or labor for an existing owner-occupied single-family residence, in order to preserve his lien, to notify the occupant either personally or by certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the occupant or his agent at the residence within 60 days from his first furnishing materials or labor, that he is supplying materials or labor. Any notice given after 60 days by the subcontractor, however, shall preserve his lien, but only to the extent that the owner has not been prejudiced by payments made before receipt of the notice.
The notice shall contain the name and address of the subcontractor or material man, the date he started to work or to deliver materials, the type of work done and to be done or the type of materials delivered and to be delivered, and the name of the contractor requesting the work. The notice shall also contain the following warning:
The subcontractor providing this notice has performed work for or delivered material to your home improvement contractor. These services or materials are being used in the improvements to your residence and entitle the subcontractor to file a lien against your residence if the services or materials are not paid for by your home improvement contractor. A lien waiver will be provided to your contractor when the subcontractor is paid, and you are urged to request this waiver from your contractor when paying for your home improvements."
The warning shall be in at least 10 point boldface type. For purposes of this Section, notice by certified mail is considered served at the time of its mailing. (Source: P.A. 87-362.)

(770 ILCS 60/6)
Sec. 6. In no event shall it be necessary to fix or stipulate in any contract a time for the completion or a time for payment in order to obtain a lien under this act, provided, that the work is done or material furnished within three years from the commencement of said work or the commencement of furnishing said material. (Source: Laws 1903, p. 230.)

(770 ILCS 60/7)
Sec. 7. No contractor shall be allowed to enforce such lien against or to the prejudice of any other creditor or incumbrancer or purchaser, unless within 4 months after completion, or if extra or additional work is done or material is delivered therefor within 4 months after the completion of such extra or additional work or the final delivery of such extra or additional material, he or she shall either bring an action to enforce his or her lien therefor or shall file in the office of the recorder of the county in which the building, erection or other improvement to be charged with the lien is situated, a claim for lien, verified by the affidavit of himself or herself, or his or her agent or employee, which shall consist of a brief statement of the contract, the balance due after allowing all credits, and a sufficiently correct description of the lot, lots or tracts of land to identify the same. Such claim for lien may be filed at any time after the contract is made, and as to the owner may be filed at any time after the contract is made and within 2 years after the completion of the contract, or the completion of any extra work or the furnishing of any extra material thereunder, and as to such owner may be amended at any time before the final judgment. No such lien shall be defeated to the proper amount thereof because of an error or overcharging on the part of any person claiming a lien therefor under this Act, unless it shall be shown that such error or overcharge is made with intent to defraud; nor shall any such lien for material be defeated because of lack of proof that the material after the delivery thereof, actually entered into the construction of such building or improvement, although it be shown that such material was not actually used in the construction of such building or improvement; Provided, it is shown that such material was delivered either to the owner or his or her agent for that building or improvement, to be used in that building or improvement, or at the place where said building or improvement was being constructed, for the purpose of being used in construction or for the purpose of being employed in the process of construction as a means for assisting in the erection of the building or improvement in what is commonly termed forms or form work where concrete, cement or like material is used, in whole or in part.
In case of the construction of a number of buildings under contract between the same parties, it shall be sufficient in order to establish such lien for material, if it be shown that such material was in good faith delivered at one of these buildings for the purpose of being used in the construction of any one or all of such buildings, or delivered to the owner or his or her agent for such buildings, to be used therein; and such lien for such material shall attach to all of said buildings, together with the land upon which the same are being constructed, the same as in a single building or improvement. In the event the contract relates to 2 or more buildings on 2 or more lots or tracts of land, then all of these buildings and lots or tracts of land may be included in one statement of claims for a lien. (Source: P.A. 83-358.)

(770 ILCS 60/8)
Sec. 8. All liens or claims for lien which may arise or accrue under the terms of this act shall be assignable, and proceedings to enforce such liens or claims for lien may be maintained by and in the name of the assignee, who shall have as full and complete power to enforce the same as if such proceedings were taken under the provisions of this act by and in the name of the lien claimant. (Source: Laws 1903, p. 230.)

(770 ILCS 60/9)
Sec. 9. If payment shall not be made to the contractor having a lien by virtue of this act of any amount due when the same becomes due, then such contractor may bring suit to enforce his lien in the circuit court in the county where the improvement is located, and in the event that the contract relates to two or more buildings or two or more lots or tracts of land, then all of said buildings and lots or tracts of land may be included in one complaint. Any two or more persons having liens on the same property may join in bringing such suit, setting forth their respective rights in their complaint; all lien claimants not made parties thereto may upon filing a petition to intervene become defendants and enforce their liens by counterclaim against all the parties to the suit; and the complaint shall not thereafter be dismissed as to any lien claimant, or as to the owner or owners of the premises without the consent of such lien claimant. The plaintiff and all defendants to such complaint may contest each other's right without any formal issue of record made up between them other than that shown upon the original complaint, as well with respect to the amount due as to the right to the benefit of the lien claimed: Provided, that if by such contest by co-defendants any lien claimants be taken by surprise, the court may, in its discretion, as to such claim, grant a continuance. The court may render judgment against any party summoned and failing to appear, as in other cases of default. Such suit shall be commenced or counterclaim filed within two years after the completion of the contract, or completion of the extra or additional work, or furnishing of extra or additional material thereunder. (Source: P.A. 79-1358.)

(770 ILCS 60/10)
Sec. 10. Suits may be instituted under the provisions of this act in favor of administrators or executors, and may be maintained against the representatives in the interest of those against whom the cause of action accrued, and in suits instituted under the provisions of this act, the representatives of any party who may die pending the suit shall be made parties. (Source: Laws 1903, p. 230.)

(770 ILCS 60/11)
Sec. 11. The complaint shall contain a brief statement of the contract or contracts on which it is founded, the date, when made, and when completed, if not completed, why, and it shall also set forth the amount due and unpaid, a description of the premises which are subject to the lien, and such other facts as may be necessary to a full understanding of the rights of the parties. Where plans and specifications are by reference made a part of the contract it shall not be necessary to set the same out in the pleadings or as exhibits, but the same may be produced on the trial of the suit. The plaintiff shall make all parties interested, of whose interest he is notified or has knowledge, parties defendant, and summons shall issue and service thereof be had as in other civil actions; and when any defendant resides or has gone out of the State, or on inquiry cannot be found, or is concealed within this State, so that process cannot be served on him, the plaintiff shall cause a notice to be given to him, or cause a copy of the complaint to be served upon him, in like manner and upon the same conditions as is provided in other civil actions, and his failure to so act with regard to summons or notice shall be ground for judgment against him as upon the merits. The same rule shall prevail with counterclaimants with regard to any person of whose interest they have knowledge, and who are not already parties to the suit or action. Parties in interest, within the meaning of this act, shall include persons entitled to liens thereunder whose claims are not, as well as are, due at the time of the commencement of suit, and such claim shall be allowed subject to a reduction of interest from the date of judgment to the time the claim is due; also all persons who may have any valid claim to the whole or any part of the premises upon which a lien may be attempted to be enforced under the provisions thereof, or who are interested in the subject matter of the suit. Any such persons may, on application to the court wherein the suit is pending, be made or become parties at any time before final judgment. No action under the provisions of this act shall be voluntarily dismissed by the party bringing it without due notice to all parties before the court and leave of court upon good cause shown and upon terms designated by the court. (Source: P.A. 79-1358.)

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Copyright 2002, Thomas J. Westgard