- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 26 Jul 2018
A lien is a right to retain possession of another person’s property pending payment of a debt. For example, a garage might not allow the owner of a car to retrieve it until the work they have done has been paid for. The holder of the property is not usually able to deal with it unless there is a contractual or statutory provision permitting this.
A lien may be:
- Legal (or possessory).
A legal lien can arise from a common law right, from contract or from statute. It is dependent on the creditor having rightfully obtained possession of the property and remains in force whilst the property is retained.
An equitable lien may arise from contract or by law of equity. It is the right to have property realised to satisfy outstanding debts and does not depend on possession of the property. It is based on the principle that possession of property under a contract for payment will not be allowed without payment.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
New BSRIA guide provides a structured approach for identifying and achieving success criteria.
People, traffic and historic townscapes.
A remote plateau in Bulgaria has been the focus of international preservation efforts.
Dynamo packages data ready for Revit.
How does EVA rate a project's progress?
How can it benefit the built environment?
The benefits of early contractor involvement.
Why it is so important for health and wellbeing.
A highly effective method of managing supply chains.
How it can benefit construction.
Free guide to commissioning for site managers published by NHBC and BSRIA.