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Basement Sealing work

IllinoisConstruction ContractDefectsPayment DisputesRecovery OptionsRight to Lien

With all the rain here in the midwest. We have worked non stop the past 3 months. Many times we have a verbal consent to do wall patch & or drain tile work in basements. The amounts range from $200 to $1000 depending on the work needed. When a customer complains he or she still has wall leakage from the area where patching work was completed by us costing ($380.00) , after we recommended they do drain tile as well. Can they deny payment? They are getting water seepage in same area? After all we only did what the customer wanted (Patch the wall) to save him or her money. Can the customer file a preliminary objection to us filing a lien on the home based on this scenario? We have no written consents or contract signed by the owner.

1 reply

Jun 21, 2019
I'm sorry to hear there have been problems with your customers. First, it's worth noting that construction businesses don't have to have a written contract in order to file a valid and enforceable mechanics lien claim in Illinois. At the same time, a customer could certainly contest a filed lien for any number of reasons - and, if payment isn't actually owed for the work performed, that lien challenge could be successful. But, simply because an owner challenges a lien claim doesn't mean the lien is going to be considered invalid.

Whether or not payment is actually due for the work performed can depend on a whole host of factors. But, ultimately, the obligations will come down to what's in the contract. If the contract was performed, as required, then generally payment will be owed. Though, if there are outstanding workmanship concerns, then there might be a fair argument as to whether payment is actually owed.

Here are some resources I think might be helpful, based on the question above:
(1) My Lien Was Challenged — What Do I Do?
(2) Can I File A Lien If My Workmanship Is In Dispute?
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