As you may be aware from the national press coverage, claims can now be made against certain properties within a parish by the local church. Using a medieval law, certain churches can force their parishioners to contribute towards maintenance of the church.
The Church of England had under the Land Registration Act 2002 until midnight on 12th October 2013 to register all chancel repair liabilities against affected properties, to ensure that it can claim for contributions towards repairs from future owners. After this date, Office Copy Entries obtained from the Land Registry (dealing with registered titles) will clearly indicate the existence of any potential liability. If there is no entry relating to chancel repair, a purchaser will be free of any future liability. However, if a liability has been registered before the deadline, the liability can be enforced against any owner of that property indefinitely. If this were the case, the buyer may wish to consider obtaining chancel-repair indemnity insurance.
Blaser Mills’ team of Residential Property specialists will guide you through the conveyancing process and organise appropriate searches and checks to see whether the property you are buying may be at risk of chancel liability.