- 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
A quality perspective.
If buildings were people, they would be just starting to walk on two legs.
Air filtration and clean air standards.
The Dukes of Normandy and the second world war.
Conserving structures in historic designed landscapes.
Online platform to showcase acoustic solutions.
The drivers of value and how it is measured.
Do you know your Ionic from your Doric?
Construction output has been stronger than anticipated.
But blame is directed at the construction industry.
Health effects on children and young people.