Illinois Preliminary Notice Guide and FAQs

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Illinois Preliminary Notice FAQs

About Illinois Preliminary Notices

Illinois Preliminary Notice Rules


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Notice is Required

For all parties other than those who contracted directly with the property owner, notice is required in Illinois in order to maintain lien rights. On residential projects, there are two notice requirements, a preliminary notice within 60 days of beginning work, and a notice of intent to lien within 90 days of finishing work. On non-residential projects, only the 90-day notice of intent is required.


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GCs Are Not Required to Send Notice

Parties who contract directly with the property owner are not required to send preliminary notice in Illinois.


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Subcontractors Must Send Notice

If working on single-family owner-occupied residence, notice required w/in 60 days of starting work. Additionally, a Notice of Intent to Lien must be provided within 90 days of last furnishing labor and/or materials on ALL projects.


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Suppliers Must Send Notice

If working on single-family owner-occupied residence, notice required w/in 60 days of starting work. Additionally, a Notice of Intent to Lien must be provided within 90 days of last furnishing labor and/or materials on ALL projects.


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Notices Can be Sent Late, Sometimes

For subs who fail to provide a 90-Day Notice of Intent to Lien, a lien claim might still be available to some degree. However, a lien will only be available if the prime contractor identified that the subcontractor was unpaid when the prime contractor submitted their Sworn Statement to the owner.


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Send to Property Owner (and Mortgage Lender)

The 60-day preliminary notice must only be delivered to the property owner, but the 90-day notice of intent must also be provided to the mortgage lender. In all cases, it is likely a best practice to provide notice to the general/direct contractor, as well.

Preliminary notice not required in WV
Preliminary Notice Not Required

Illinois does not require a preliminary notice to be sent in order to retain rights to make a claim against the payment bond secured for a project. However, there are many reasons why sending a preliminary notice even when not specifically required can sometimes be beneficial.


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N/A

On public jobs, any claims for non-payment are made against the general contractor's bond. Since GCs will not make a claim against their own bond for non-payment, they do not have bond claim rights, and have no preliminary notice requirement.


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No Notice Required from Subs

Illinois does not require preliminary notices be sent to preserve the right to make a claim against a payment bond on a public project.


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N/A

Illinois does not require preliminary notices be sent to preserve the right to make a claim against a payment bond on a public project.

Preliminary Notice Rules Depend on the Project Type

General contractors, or any other party with a direct contract with the property owner, are not required to give preliminary notice in Illinois. Other project participants, however, are required to send notice in order to maintain the ability to file a valid and enforceable mechanics lien. On residential projects, parties other than those who contracted directly with the property owner are required to provide a 60-day preliminary notice within 60 days from first furnishing labor or materials to the project. This is a “traditional” preliminary notice requirement, and it is crucial to comply if the work or materials being furnished are for the improvement of an owner-occupied single-family residence (1-4 units).

On all jobs, project participants not in direct contract with the property owner are required to send a Notice of Intent to Lien within 90 days of the last day that service or materials were provided. Note that this means that parties on a residential project must send both a 60-day preliminary notice and a 90-day notice of intent to lien in order to qualify for mechanics lien protection.

An additional requirement is also applicable to home repairs or remodeling work. This type of work is subject to the Illinois Home Repair and Remodeling Act, which requires project participants to deliver a “Home Repair: Know Your Consumer Rights” pamphlet prior to the start of work. This notice does not impact the future lien rights of any construction participant, but failure to provide the notice gives the homeowner a remedy to sue the contractor under the consumer fraud act. Read about this requirement in Illinois Legislature Amendment May Save Mechanics Lien Rights for Home Remodelers.

Preliminary Notice Frequently Asked Questions

If you're sending preliminary notices in Illinois, it's important to understand the rules and requirements in order to get the most benefit possible from sending your notice. Since the notice rules and requirements change from project to project in Illinois, and are complex, this can all be difficult. These are some frequently asked questions about the notice process in Illinois.

Prelim FAQs on Private Projects

Do I Need to Send a Illinois Preliminary Notice?

It depends. Notice is never required for a prime contractor, or any party in direct contractual relation with the owner. For all other parties, the notice required depends on the project.

60-Day Notice: All parties not in direct contractual relation with the property owner (or owner’s agent) and who provided labor or materials to an owner-occupied single-family residence must provide a 60-Day Notice. This notice must be sent within 60 days from first furnishing labor or materials to the project, and should be sent by certified mail return receipt requested with delivery restricted to the addressee only.

90-Day Notice: All parties not in direct contractual relation with the property owner (or owner’s agent) and who provided labor or materials to a residential OR commercial project must send a 90-Day Notice of Intent to Lien to preserve their lien rights. This notice must be sent within 90 days of the lien claimant’s last furnishing of labor or materials to the project. This notice should be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested with delivery restricted to the addressee only. More on the Notice of Intent rules here: Illinois Notice of Intent FAQs & Guide.

Warning to those working on Home Repairs or Remodeling in Illinois, which is subject to the Illinois Home Repair and Remodeling Act, must deliver a “Home Repair: Know Your Consumer Rights” pamphlet prior to the start of work. While not sending this document will not impact a party’s contractual or mechanics lien rights, it will give the homeowner a remedy to sue the contractor under the consumer fraud act for an unspecified amount of damages. Read about this requirement in Illinois Legislature Amendment May Save Mechanics Lien Rights for Home Remodelers.

 

When do I Need to Send a Illinois Preliminary Notice?

60-Day Notice:The 60-Day Notice must be sent within 60 days from the subcontractor’s first furnishing of labor or materials to the project.

90-Day Notice:The 90-Day Notice of Intent to Lien must be sent within 90 days from the subcontractor’s last furnishing of labor or materials to the project.

What if I Send the Illinois Preliminary Notice Late?

60-Day Notice: If a party fails to provide the 60-Day notice when required, that party’s lien rights are waived to the extent of any payments made by the owner to the prime contractor prior to receiving the notice. For example, if a subcontractor has a lien claim of $10,000, but fails to give the required 60-Day notice, and the amount remaining to be paid to the prime contractor on the original contract is only $5000, the subcontractor has lost his right to the remaining $5000 of his claim.

90-Day Notice of Intent to Lien: For subs who fail to provide a 90-Day Notice of Intent to Lien, a lien claim might still be available to some degree. Specifically, a lien will be available if the prime contractor identified that the subcontractor was unpaid when the prime contractor submitted their *Sworn Statement to the owner. But, this only negates the 90-Day Notice of Intent to Lien requirement to the extent that the prime contractor’s Sworn Statement showed the subcontractor was unpaid.

i.e. If the sub was unpaid more than what was listed on the prime contractor’s Sworn Statement, a Notice of Intent to Lien would still be required for amounts not listed in that Sworn Statement.

* A “Sworn Statement” is a document submitted by the project’s prime contractor to the property owner which swears all subs and suppliers have been paid or identifies which of them have not been paid.

How Should the Illinois Preliminary Notice be Sent?

Both notices, when required, should be sent by certified mail return receipt requested with delivery restricted to the addressee only, or by personal delivery.

Do I Have to Send the Illinois Preliminary Notice to Someone Other than the Owner?

60-Day Notice:The 60-Day Notice, when required, is only required to be sent to the property owner.

90-Day Notice:The 90-Day Notice of Intent to Lien, must be sent to the property owner and the mortgage lender, but it’s generally a good idea to send to the general contractor as well.

Is the Illinois Preliminary Notice Requirement met when sent or delivered?

The preliminary notice is considered delivered at the time of mailing, but actual receipt is required and the burden to get the mail piece delivered and received by the recipient is on the sending party. See more at How To Send Notice to Owners – Standard Certified Mail, or Certified Mail with Return Receipt Requested?

Prelim FAQs on Public Projects

Do I Need to Send a Illinois Preliminary Notice?

No. Illinois does not require any preliminary notice to be given to preserve the right to make a bond claim on a public project, nor to make a claim on the contract funds due to the general contractor.

When do I Need to Send a Illinois Preliminary Notice?

N/A

What if I Send the Illinois Preliminary Notice Late?

N/A

How Should the Illinois Preliminary Notice be Sent?

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To Whom Must the Illinois Preliminary Notice be Given?

N/A

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How to file a lien in Illinois

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Illinois Notice Form Templates

Illinois preliminary notice forms are regulated by statute. This doesn’t mean that the form has to look a specific certain way, but it does mean that any Illinois preliminary notice document must contain certain information. The forms provided here for free by Levelset are compliant with the Illinois rules, and specifically designed to promote project visibility. You can download them for free, or use our system to send them easily.

Illinois Notice of Intent to Lien Form (90-Day Notice)

Fill out the form to download your free Illinois Notice of Intent Form. You can fill out the form with a PDF editor, or by...

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