Chancel repair liability
Chancel repair liability dates back to the 16th century sale of monasteries by Henry Vlll, during which, responsibility for repairing the chancel (the part of a church around the altar, including the choir and the sanctuary) passed from the monks to the new owner of the land. This land is not always close to the church building.
5,200 pre-Reformation churches in England and Wales benefit from a right, allowing Parochial Church Councils (PCC’s or the Church of Wales in Wales and Monmouth) to require owners of former church land within the parishes of churches built before 1536 to contribute a proportion (historically known as a tithe) of the cost of maintaining or repairing the chancel.
This liability was not always recorded, and in an effort to reform what was seen as an outdated law, The Land Registration Act 2002 required that from 13 October 2013, new owners of land will only be bound by chancel repair liability if it is entered in the land register. Since then, properties sold with no notice in their register may be considered free from the liability.
If the liability was registered by the 2013 deadline, future owners of the land remain liable for their share. If the liability was not registered by the 2013 deadline, the liability is still enforceable until the land is sold. Liability can still be registered after the 2013 deadline, but is only be effective if there has been no sale.
A freedom of Information request by the Sunday Times in 2013 revealed that 247 churches had registered 12,276 homes or plots of land as being liable. However, as it is thought that 5,200 churches could benefit from the right, the final total is likely to be higher.
Actual claims are rare, but the potential for there to be a claim can affect property prices, and checking for the liability is an important part of conveyancing when purchasing a property. It is possible to obtain insurance to cover the potential for a claim.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki:
Featured articles and news
The IHBC has welcomed HE's update, designed to assist Judges, Magistrates and their legal advisers in determining the appropriate sentence for a heritage crime.
Use your network to join ours, absolutely free! (Limited Offer) as we are offering a chance for sector organisations to have a free place on our School website as a ‘Friend’.
The RTPI has outlined its response to the UK Government’s ‘Industrial Strategy’ saying ‘it fails to link up with other government strategies such as housing and the environment’.
Residents of the Neo Bankside flats on London’s Southbank are suing Tate Modern over its public balcony which allows gallery-goers to look straight into their luxury apartments.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has branded as ‘shocking’ that London has lost 1,220 pubs since 2001 and seeks suggestions via a consultation ending on 31 May.
Winners announced on 5 April 2017 include two UK winners - Cromford Mills Building, Derbyshire, and Samphire Maritime Project in western Scotland.
The feature explores Manchester Victoria Baths funding event which sold out quicker than Glastonbury and is the latest in a long line of projects to restore historic swimming pools.