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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>I hired a contractor to do my whole house renovation, I paid him 19000 for the renovation but he didn’t finish. Can I put a lien on his license? This happensed in April.

I hired a contractor to do my whole house renovation, I paid him 19000 for the renovation but he didn’t finish. Can I put a lien on his license? This happensed in April.

IllinoisLawsuitPayment Disputes

I hired a contractor to do my whole house renovation, I paid him 19000 for the renovation but he didn’t finish. Can I put a lien on his license? This happensed in April.

1 reply

Sep 5, 2018
Everybody deserves to get what they paid for - and when work isn't accomplished (especially after at least some payment has been made) it's especially maddening.

Mechanics liens are limited in applicability to parties who have furnished labor or materials to improve property. Because of this, mechanics liens attach to the property that was improved. There is no ability to claim a mechanics lien against a person, or a person's license, or property other than the property at which the work occurred. The mechanics lien is a tool for the parties doing the work, not the party who is ultimately supposed to gain the benefit of the work.

However, there are different paths, other than mechanics liens, that could offer some relief. Illinois, like many other states, offers protections to homeowners with respect to construction or renovation projects. Any contract for work over $1,000 must be written and is required by law to state the total cost of the project, including parts and materials and any charge for the estimate. Additionally, prior to signing any home repair or remodeling contract over $1,000, a contractor in Illinois is required to provide the customer with a copy of the "Home Repair: Know Your Consumer Rights" pamphlet.

If the work was not performed, there is likely a breach of the written contract, and a lawsuit may be filed to recover. A complaint may also be made to the contractor's licensing board both for breaching the contract, and (if applicable) not providing the appropriate documents. In addition to a breach of contract suit, it may be having an attorney explore whether an action under the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act (815 ILCS 505/), which allows parties to sue if they have been damaged by unfair or deceptive acts or practices, would be appropriate.

Additionally, if a party believes they have been the victim of a home improvement scam, they can also contact the Office of the Illinois Attorney General to file a consumer complaint.
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