What is chancel repair liability?
It is an ancient law which first came into effect during the reign of King Henry VIII. The liability applies to land that previously belonged to a monastery or abbey but was sold off by King Henry VII during his reign. Under the 1932 Chancel Repairs Act the owners of such land were able to recover funds. The jurisdiction is now with the County Courts and the main issues in relation to conveyancing transactions are contained in the 1936 Tithes Act.
Why has this caused problems in conveyancing transactions?
Before 2003 the same caused no problems in connection with a conveyancing transaction. Since the Land Registration Act 2002 came into force Chancel Repair Liability has been classed as an “overriding interest”. The problem occurs in that these overriding interests, even though not revealed on the Land Registry registered title or unregistered title deeds, bind a purchaser of the land.
What has been done?
With effect from midnight on the 12 October 2013 Chancel Repair Liability will no longer be classed as an overriding interest and as such new owners of property will only be bound by the repair liability if the liability has been registered at the Land Register.
Is that the end of the problem?
Unfortunately the answer is no. The liability and right to demand payment will continue to bind owner of land and/or property if such land and/or property was purchased before the 12th October 2013. The liability will only cease when the land and/or property is once again sold. At that time the liability ceases if not registered at the Land Registry.
What can we do to assist?
Insurance can be put in place to protect any possible liability that may exist regarding land and/or property. If you wish to protect against such we can arrange for the necessary Insurance to be put in place at a reasonable policy premium (to be advised at the time of contact).
If we can help please contact us on:
Exeter – 01392 285000
Cullompton – 01884 33818
Newton Abbot – 01626 330127