As a construction contractor or the owner of a remodeling company, you take a lot of pride in the work that you do. After all, referrals from your existing clients are probably a major source of new contracts and projects.
You likely do whatever you can to make sure that your clients are satisfied at the end of the work and make every reasonable attempt to fulfill your contractual agreement with the homeowner that hired you.
After all, unhappy customers may not pay you in full. Frequently, you will accept a deposit and then expect the property owner to pay the balance of funds due upon the completion of the project. If you do the work as contracted and they refuse to pay you, the Illinois civil courts can help you.
You can ask the courts to enforce your payment rights
Provided that you have a contract with the homeowner and documentation of the work you performed, ranging from payments made to subcontractors to invoices for materials purchased and images of the completed space, you can ask the civil courts to grant you a mechanic’s lien.
State law specifically protects the rights of those who provide materials or do work on real property to secure a lien against said property if they do not receive payment in full for the goods provided or services rendered. If the courts grant you a mechanic’s lien, you must present it to the county recorder’s office to have it added to the title records for the property where you completed the work.
Once the lien is part of the official record, the property owner will not be able to refinance, transfer or sell the property without paying the lien in full. In extreme cases, you may even be able to force them to sell or refinance the property to cash out equity and pay you the amount owed in full.
Don’t let paperwork mistakes prevent you from getting paid
It is very easy to make technical mistakes that prevent you from getting a mechanic’s lien. Waiting too long after completing the project to file a claim is a common mistake. Errors in the paperwork submitted to the courts are another reason why a business or contractor may not get the lien that they technically deserve for work already performed or materials already provided.
It is often necessary to partner with a lawyer familiar with construction law to ensure success when pursuing a mechanic’s lien following the completion of a residential remodeling, construction or renovation project. Getting the right support can help you overcome construction law challenges that affect your business’s bottom line.