It has been said that a lien merely provides security for an amount due under contract:
The statutory lien does not create a contract or any claim that exists independently of a contract. Instead, it creates security over property for a contractual claim.
(Nita Lake Lodge Corp. v. Conpact Systems (2004) Ltd., 2006 BCSC 885 at para. 12).
Although the Builders Lien Act is designed in part to create security in relation to the performance of a contract (in Bank of Montreal v. Peri Formwork Systems Inc., 2012 BCCA 4 at para. 61) it is important to keep in mind that the amount that can be claimed under a lien is determined according to the provisions of the Builders Lien Act and not the terms of any contract:
Homes has failed to distinguish between what might be owing under the Contract and what might be lienable as a result of the labour and materials relating to the improvement on the Property.
(Tylon Steepe Homes Ltd. v. Pont, 2009 BCSC 253 at para. 32).
The Builders Lien Act provisions relevant to valuation of lien claims are discussed in more detail below.