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Chancel Repair Liability After 12 October 2013

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Chancel Repair Liability will, like all other Overriding Interests, lose its overriding status as of the 13 October 2013. 

hlw Keeble Hawson logoWhere a Property is registered, it is possible to protect a right to demand payment for chancel repairs by entering a notice against the title of the Property. The Chancel Repair Liability will continue to bind the Property owner until the land is subsequently transferred to a third party, even after the 13 October 2013, and even if a notice has not been entered on to the Property Register. Therefore the purchase of any Property following the 13 October 2013, where the Property Register does not have a notice of Chancel Repair Liability, will take the Property free of any such liability.

If the Property is unregistered, Chancel Repair Liability can be protected by a caution against first registration. As with registered Property, the Chancel Repair Liability will remain, so long as the Property is not transferred to a third party. It is possible to note the Chancel Repair Liability as part of the application for first registration, but if no such application is made, the Property will be taken free of any Chancel Repair Liability. The Land Registration Rules 2003 imposes a duty to disclose the existence of Chancel Repair Liability when making an application for First Registration and where an application is made to register a disposition, where the applicant has knowledge of the liability.

Previously Property purchasers have been able to obtain Chancel Repair Liability Insurance, where a Chancel Search has revealed potential liability. Following the 13 October 2013, purchases may find it increasingly difficult (and expensive) to obtain Chancel Repair Liability Insurance, where there is notice of Chancel Repair Liability registered against the title of the Property. Likewise Chancel Repair Liability Insurance which is currently in place is likely to be unattainable by the time a notice seeking a contribution to Chancel Repairs has been served.

It may be that Property owners with Potential Chancel repair Liability seek to enter into an agreement directly with the Parochial Church Council to ensure that no formal demand for Chancel Repair Liability is made.

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