Sending an Illinois preliminary notice is an effective way to speed up payment on a construction project. A preliminary notice is an informational document typically sent to the property owner near the beginning of a construction project. Here's what you need to know about the rules and requirements for sending preliminary notice in Illinois.
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Illinois preliminary notice requirements for:
Preliminary notice is not required.
Parties who contract directly with the property owner are not required to send preliminary notice in Illinois.
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.
If working on single-family owner-occupied residence, notice required within 60 days of starting work.
Due within 60 days
Sent to Property Owner (and Mortgage Lender)
Can be sent late sometimes
Additionally, a Notice of Intent to Lien must be provided within 90 days of last furnishing labor and/or materials on ALL projects.
Preliminary notice is 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.
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.
A traditional preliminary notice will never be required from a general contractor. However, GC’s are required to provide a Sworn Statement on all private projects, and provide statutory notice language in addition to the sworn statement on owner-occupied, single-family, residential projects.
As far as all other potential claimants are concerned, a preliminary notice (aka Notice to Owner, 60-Day Notice) is only required on owner-occupied, single-family residential projects to secure the right to file an Illinois mechanics lien.
What information is required on an Illinois preliminary notice?
• Names & addresses of all parties furnishing labor, services, or materials to the project
• Amounts due or to become due to each party listed
• Made under oath or verified by affidavit
GC Owner-Occupant Warning Notice
The following statement in 10pt, bold type:
THE LAW REQUIRES THAT THE CONTRACTOR SHALL SUBMIT A SWORN STATEMENT OF PERSONS FURNISHING LABOR, SERVICES, MATERIAL, FIXTURES, APPARATUS OR MACHINERY, FORMS OR FORM WORK BEFORE ANY PAYMENTS ARE REQUIRED TO BE MADE TO THE CONTRACTOR
Notice to Owner
To be valid, the notice must be in at least 10pt, bold type, and contain the following:
• Claimant’s name & address
• Hiring party’s name & address
• Date of first furnishing labor and/or materials to the project
• General description of labor and/or materials provided
The subcontractor providing this notice has performed work or delivered material to your home improvement contractor. These services or materials are being used in the improvements to your residence and entitle the subcontractor to file a lien against your residence if the labor, services, material, fixtures, apparatus, or machinery, forms or form work are not paid for by your home improvement contractor. A lien waiver will be provided to your contractor when the subcontractor is paid, and you are urged to request this waiver form your contractor when paying for home improvements.
How should a preliminary notice be sent in Illinois?
The Sworn Statement and Owner-Occupant Warning Notice are typically incorporated into the construction contract. If not, there is no specific provision regarding delivery, so the following methods are considered best practice.
Is the IL preliminary notice considered served when sent or when received?
All Illinois preliminary notices, if sent by certified mail, are considered served upon deposit in the mail. However, actual receipt is still required to be valid; and that burden lies with the notifying party.
What if an Illinois preliminary notice is sent late?
A general/direct contractor’s failure to provide the Sworn Statement or Owner-Occupant Warning Notice is fatal to the claimant’s lien rights.
If a subcontractor fails to provide the Notice to Owner within 60 days of first furnishing, the claimant’s lien rights are waived “to the extent the owner has not been prejudiced by payments made before receipt of the notice.” In other words, the claim of a sub who failed to provide timely notice will be limited to the unpaid balance that the owner has yet to pay the original contractor.
See the answer to this IL sub’s question in the Expert Center, for more on this:
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.
Hi, thank you for reaching out to the Levelset legal community. Unfortunately Levelset does not have templates for breach of contract court filings in Illinois. I'm sorry to hear that you have already paid a lawyer $10k and not had any progress yet, however, it is generally agreed to be imprudent to represent yourself in court. If you no longer wish to work with the attorney you currently have, you may browse our directory of attorneys in Illinois to find a new one: https://www.levelset.com/payment-help/experts/construction-lawyer/illinois/
You are a subcontractor who performed work on a project in Texas in November 2021.
First, the Illinois Mechanics Lien Act only applies to projects in the State of Illinois. To learn about your lien rights in Texas, I recommend contacting Texas Construction Counsel.
Second, remember that lien rights are the sole means to reach the owner of the project. If you are too late to enforce your TX lien rights, you have no recourse against a party with whom you have no contractual relationship (such as the owner).
Third, unlike the owner of the project, you do have contractual privity with the GC that hired you. If nothing else, you may sue that GC for breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and potentially for breach of fiduciary duty due to failure to turn over proceeds to you as the sub.
I hope this information has been helpful. Best of luck.
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.
Read the step-by-step guide to preparing and serving a preliminary notice in Illinois. This article will walk you through everything you need to know about the form, the information required, and the rules for delivering notice.
Illinois’s mechanics lien laws are specific about the language and information that you must include on notice. Download a free preliminary notice form here. Our forms are prepared by construction attorneys to meet the requirements in Illinois’s statute, making it easy to get this part right.
Making a mistake on the preliminary notice form could cause you to lose your right to file an Illinois mechanics lien if you don’t get paid later on. It’s critical to verify all of the the information to ensure that it’s completely accurate.
Deliver the notice
Illinois law is strict about serving a preliminary notice. It must be served upon the Property Owner for residential projects within 60 days from first furnishing labor or materials to the project. If mailed, notice must be delivered by certified mail return receipt requested with delivery restricted to the addressee only.
How to send a Preliminary Notice with Levelset
Select Preliminary Notice document.
Provide basic job information.
Levelset sends the document for you. Postage included!