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Verbal approval to a contractor, no written documents were signed Can contract still file a lien in Illinois?.

IllinoisConstruction ContractDefectsMechanics LienPayment DisputesRight to Lien

basement leakage in wall was patched, however wall at base still leaks. Now contractor says the foundation also needed drain tile, as indicated on estimating sheet. Only wall patch work was done, and leaks continue. Home owner tells contractor that nothing has changed and water continues to enter at exact same location where wall patch was made along bottom of wall directly under crack wall patch work.

1 reply

Jun 21, 2019
I'm sorry to hear that this project has gone sideways. To cut to the chase - the Illinois mechanics lien statute does not require the existence of a written contract in order to file a valid and enforceable mechanics lien. However, that doesn't necessarily mean a filed lien would be valid - if other issues are present, a lien claim could be unenforceable.

For one, mechanics liens can generally only be filed for amounts owed but unpaid for construction work. So, if there's a dispute as to what's owed, and if a lien claimant files their lien for an amount more than what they're actually owed, a lien claim could be deemed invalid and unenforceable. Further, when there are serious workmanship concerns, a court could find that payment isn't actually owed for the work performed - or that a much lesser amount is owed. Though, liens can be filed even when workmanship is in dispute. Finally, it's also worth exploring whether there are any violations of the Illinois contractors license rules. If that's the case, the contractor might not be entitled to compensation at all.

Ultimately, though, if a payment dispute has gotten bad enough that a lien claim has been filed or is imminent, it might be time to at least consult a local construction attorney. They'll be able to provide valuable insight based on your circumstances.

These articles have some information that I think might be valuable here:
(1) Improper Lien Filed on Your Property? Here’s What to Do
(2) I Just Received a Notice of Intent to Lien – What Should I Do Now?
(3) A Mechanics Lien Was Filed on My Property – What Do I Do Now?.
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