288. Extent of lien in building and engineering contracts.

A lien is a right to keep the property of another pending the discharge of a debt. When the right to retain such property is limited to debts outstanding from a particular transaction, it is known as a particular lien; if it is not so limited it is a general lien1. Liens arise by operation of law.

A lien might arise in favour of the contractor where unfixed materials are in his possession after the property in them has passed to the employer. Otherwise it seems that a true lien cannot arise in building or engineering contracts since both ownership