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CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing HOAs, homeowners, businesses and others in real estate matters.
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We paid a contractor & he red a subcontractor to build us

Customer Question

We paid a contractor for services & he hired a subcontractor to build us kitchen cabinets & insisted we just pay him & he would pay the subcontractor but he did not are we the property owners responsible to pay the subcontractor even though the contractor was suppose to do it?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer,

Unfortunately, unless you were getting your "Subsection V declaration" from the contractor each time that you made a payment (a statement that is verified under oath from the contractor that subcontractor's are paid, giving names of all subcontractors, etc.), you can be held liable for a subcontractor's lien.

Unfortunately most homeowners are not sophisticated consumers of construction services (unless you are constantly remodeling your home, or you have friends or family in the industry it is unlikely that you are familiar with these rules), so many people do find themselves owing more than they originally contracted for.

(See: https://www.muchshelist.com/knowledge-center/article/illinois-mechanics-lien-act-what-property-owners-should-know).

Keep in mind, you can still recover for any money that you end up having to pay the subcontractor in addition to what you paid the contractor. (The contractor is still liable to you for this money - just because they stole from you doesn't mean that they aren't liable for it), so your civil complaints that you have filed can be amended to include any amounts you ultimately have to pay to settle with the subcontractor.

Do try to see if you can settle with the subcontractor for less than the full amount owed. The subcontractor may be willing to accept a smaller amount than he is currently owed simply to settle the case. If he agrees to this, make certain to get this agreement in writing.