Why living near to a church could cost you thousands; and why you should check for chancel repair liability
Chancel repair liability is the requirement for some homeowners to pay towards the cost of repairs to the chancel of a nearby church which can be expensive. If the property you are proposing to buy falls within boundaries of a parish, you can be held liable to pay for its costs. This can cost thousands of pounds.
The liability for chancel repair has been around for hundreds of years but it does not necessarily show on the title deeds of a house. A chancel search can be carried out to reveal whether or not the property you are proposing to buy may be affected by a potential chancel repair obligation. This search, however, does not show whether the actual subject property is located on a land that has this responsibility, but it does indicate a certain level of risk.
There was a court case which has highlighted the risk of chancel repair. Mr and Mrs Wallbank were the owners of a farmhouse near to a church and the court held that the couple had to contribute towards the church repairs and as a result, they had to sell their home.
Without carrying out a chancel search it is not possible to ascertain if the property is in an area which may be affected by a potential chancel repair obligation, you can either carry out further investigations or take out a legal insurance indemnity policy to cover the possible costs of repair.
If there is any doubt as to whether you may be liable for the cost of a chancel repair of a property you are buying we would suggest that you pay for a legal insurance policy which would protect you against potential liability claims. This is likely to be much cheaper than carrying out further investigations.
For more information and advice on chancel repair liability or buying and selling a property, please speak to a member of our Conveyancing department
Call now on 0117 939 0350 or