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Church Repair Liability – Get it checked out


Surprisingly this is still a hot topic.

There have been a number of instances where Church authorities have attempted to require land owners to contribute towards the cost of repair of designated parts of the local parish church (Chancel Liability).

The law changed recently. It meant that the Church authorities had to act before 13th October 2013 to preserve their rights against property which was not already expressly subject to Chancel Liability.

This deadline has now passed but unfortunately this does not automatically mean that liability ceases.

This is because the Church authorities can continue to register notices after 13th October 2013 unless broadly speaking, the property has been purchased for ‘valuable consideration’ after that date.

Equally, anyone buying property ‘for valuable consideration’ after 13th October 2013 will take the property free from Chancel Liability where the Church authorities’ rights have not been properly preserved. But there is the rub.  You have to buy before the rights have been protected.

The Land Registry’s current approach is causing purchasers concern as it may leave buyers exposed to applications to register Chancel Liability. Our firm is fully aware of the position and as part of your transaction we investigate any potential repair liability and advise you how best to cover against any risk.

As liability does not automatically cease we offer all new and existing clients a title audit to check for any potential liability and advice on how best to cover against any risk.

If you are interested in this please contact us.