Security

A possessory lien is enforced only by a right of retention. No claim can be made for storage or for any other expense to which the person exercising the lien may be put. There is no general right of sale of the property. Under particular statutes a lien may be enforced by sale in the following cases: Repairs of goods or person accepting goods for treatment under the Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977. and unpaid seller of goods, under the Sale of Goods Act 1979. A possessory lien is extinguished by: Loss of possession of the goods. Payment or tender of the amount claimed. Taking security under such circumstances as to show that the security was taken in substitution for the lien. Abandonment. Equity arises to supplement any unfairness or harshness caused by the limits of the common law. At times, therefore, an equitable lien will arise in respect of property over which there cannot be a common law possessory lien, for example because the person to whom the debt is owed no longer has possession of the property. In this case it may be that an equitable lien will arise. The sanction imposed by a possessory lien, is, of course, that the lienor has the right to retain the property against payment thus depriving the owner of the use of the property. The lienor of a common law possessory lien has no right of sale to satisfy his debt. Equitable liens do not rest upon retention and therefore cannot provide this sanction. An equitable lien may, however, be enforced by sale of the property if its existence is confirmed by a declaration of the court.