Illinois Mechanics Lien Guide and FAQs

Last updated July 9, 2020
If contractors and suppliers don’t get paid on a construction project in Illinois, they can file a mechanics lien to secure payment. A mechanics lien is a legal tool that provides the unpaid party with a security interest in the property. This page breaks down the rules, requirements, and deadlines you need to follow to file an Illinois mechanics lien.

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When should a mechanics lien be used in the payment process?

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Preliminary notice
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pay?

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Notice of intent to lien
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pay?

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Mechanics lien

Illinois lien deadlines for:

Notice requirements
None required.

Illinois mechanics lien law doesn't require general contractors to send a notice prior to filing a lien claim. However, sending a preliminary notice is a best practice on all projects, even when it's not required.

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Mechanics lien deadline
4 Months

In Illinois, a mechanics lien must be filed within 4 months after completion of work to be effective against subsequent property owners. If the lien is filed after 4 months but before 2 years after completion of work, it will still be effective against the original owner.

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Lien enforcement deadline
2 Years

An action to enforce an Illinois mechanics lien must be initiated within 2 years after completion of the work.

This deadline is strict, and cannot be extended. If the deadline is missed, the lien becomes unenforceable.

Notice requirements
90 Days

On most projects in Illinois, a preliminary notice is not required. However, sub-tier parties working on single-family owner-occupied residence must provide notice to the owner within 60 days of starting work.

In order to retain the right to file a mechanics lien, Illinois sub-tier parties must deliver a Notice of Intent to Lien within 90 days of last furnishing labor and/or materials.

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Illinois

Mechanics Liens Deadlines
4 Months

In Illinois, a mechanics lien must be filed within 4 months after completion of work to be effective against subsequent property owners. If the lien is filed after 4 months but before 2 years after completion of work, it will still be effective against the original owner.

File A Lien Fast

Illinois

Enforcement Deadlines
2 Years

An action to enforce an mechanics lien in Illinois must be initiated within 2 years after completion of the work.

This deadline is strict, and cannot be extended. If the deadline is missed, the lien becomes unenforceable.