It appears that the Illinois legislature is contemplating an amendment to its mechanic’s lien statute, as reported last week by the informative Illinois Construction Law Blog. According to that blog post, the guts of the amendment would require contractors (non-subs) to given written notice on owner-occupied single family residences prior to filing a lien.

According to the blog, this requirement already exists for subcontractors, and the purpose of the amendment would be to extend the requirement to contractors who contract directly with the property owner.

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The Illinois Construction Law Blog does weigh the pros and cons of the bill.

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In their discussion, they mention that the bill makes sense because homeowners cannot be considered as sophisticated as commercial property developers.

On the other hand, however, since the bill would only require notice before filing the lien, the blog states that notice could be given the day before the lien is filed. Of this time frame, the author asks “what protection does that afford the home-owner?”

A similar requirement exists in Louisiana, according to Wolfe Law Group’s Construction Law Monitor. They describe the requirement as follows:

Notice is required whenever you are working on a residential project, and you contract directly with the owner of the property, who also lives in the residence.

The type of notice required is called the “Notice of Lien Rights.”

The Notice of Lien Rights to be sent to owners in residential projects is very important, because the law requires that it be provided before work begins, and not as a condition to your construction contract.

Read full article here.

The difference between the Louisiana requirement and the requirement in Illinois, however, is that in Louisiana notice is required before work begins, and in Illinois, its required only before filing the lien. Perhaps the goals of the Illinois legislature would be better achieved by a rule similar to that of Louisiana’s?

Nevertheless, for the time being, the requirement does not exist at all for contractors in Illinois, and is only a twinkle in the legislature’s eye. You can track the progress of the bill at this link.