Chancel repair liability
Chancel repair liability is
the topic on every conveyancer's lips at the moment as it has
recently been subject to some important legislative changes
affecting existing homeowners and those looking to purchase a
home. Chancel repair liability dates back to medieval times
and is the liability of the owner of the property to contribute
towards the repairs of their local parish church. It was
previously an overriding interest meaning that it would bind both
the owner of the property and anyone who acquired an interest in
the property even if the liability was not evident from the
Chancel Repair Liability still
binds current owners but changes came into force on 13 October 2013
meaning that chancel repair liability is no longer an overriding
interest and will only bind future owners if the liability is
registered against a property.
The onus is therefore on the
Church to establish liability and to register such liability.
The Church can choose to register such a liability at any point up
until the property is sold. It therefore follows that
liability only disappears if the liability is not registered prior
to a property being sold
Insurance providers have
confirmed that insurance is available for liability which has been
registered although the effect on the premium is yet to be
seen. Insurance may also be available for current homeowners
who are concerned that their local parish church may register such
liability prior to the property being sold. Once again, the
likely premiums for such "potential liability" are
If you have any queries or
concerns in respect of potential chancel repair liability, it is
sensible to speak to a solicitor who can advise accordingly.
Likewise, if a local parish church attempts to register such
liability against your property please seek advice in respect of
this. Rollits are on hand to answer any such queries and are
always happy to help.
Posted on: 18/10/2013
This article is for general guidance only. It provides useful information in a concise form. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific legal advice.
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