Chancel repair liability
Chancel repair liability isthe topic on every conveyancer's lips at the moment as it hasrecently been subject to some important legislative changesaffecting existing homeowners and those looking to purchase ahome. Chancel repair liability dates back to medieval timesand is the liability of the owner of the property to contributetowards the repairs of their local parish church. It waspreviously an overriding interest meaning that it would bind boththe owner of the property and anyone who acquired an interest inthe property even if the liability was not evident from thetitle.
Chancel Repair Liability stillbinds current owners but changes came into force on 13 October 2013meaning that chancel repair liability is no longer an overridinginterest and will only bind future owners if the liability isregistered against a property.
The onus is therefore on theChurch to establish liability and to register such liability. The Church can choose to register such a liability at any point upuntil the property is sold. It therefore follows thatliability only disappears if the liability is not registered priorto a property being sold
Insurance providers haveconfirmed that insurance is available for liability which has beenregistered although the effect on the premium is yet to beseen. Insurance may also be available for current homeownerswho are concerned that their local parish church may register suchliability prior to the property being sold. Once again, thelikely premiums for such "potential liability" areunknown.
If you have any queries orconcerns in respect of potential chancel repair liability, it issensible to speak to a solicitor who can advise accordingly. Likewise, if a local parish church attempts to register suchliability against your property please seek advice in respect ofthis. Rollits are on hand to answer any such queries and arealways happy to help.
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.