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Thread: Chancel repair liability (very off topic!)

  1. #1

    Chancel repair liability (very off topic!)

    Mrs Simplesimon and I are currently going through the long and eye-wateringly expensive journey of buying our first property having been renting for the last 5 years.

    Today I received a letter from our solicitor informing me of the risk of Chancel Repair Liability. This is something I'd never previously heard of, and now that I have heard of it I struggle to comprehend how in the hell it's still law. Apparently, if you own property on land that once belonged to the church (according to maps from around or before the time of Henry VIII) then you're automatically liable for a potentially unlimited sum of money, on an unlimited number of occasions, to fund repairs to the chancel of said church.

    What century is this?!

    Even more unbelievable is the fact that the church can and do still utilitise this anachronistic law to extort money for the upkeep of crumbling buildings with congregations probably numbering single figures. I'm totally baffled. Seems our only option is to pay the (admittedly tiny) insurance premium and suck it up.
    I half expected to see the solicitors letter dated April 1st.
    Has anyone else been stung by this injustice?
    I feel a letter to my MP coming on.

    Anyway, must dash. I don't want to be late for compulsory longbow practice...
    See my blog for - My kindly sponsored DSC1 course and chart my progress from deer virgin to stalking veteran
    AND my new puppy progress DIARY
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  2. #2
    Send me a PM with your number and I'll talk you through it. As a Land Agent I've dealt with a lot of this.

    Best,

    J

  3. #3
    We had this on a property we purchased, our solicitor just advised us that we could take out a fairly cheap insurance policy against it. Problem solved

  4. #4
    BJimmy sounds like he will help but I've been in a similar situation. I was advised it remains a liability after a recent review of all extant such liabilities.
    You can take out a transferrable Chancel Liability Insurance and I would ask your sellers to do so before you move in for whatever value your solicitor suggests.
    Cheers

  5. #5
    Take out insurance - your solicitor should be able to advise.

  6. #6
    This is just as archaic as the fact that shooting rights can still be owned by someone other than the landowner. Drives me mad - sounds like ww3 on my farm now the partridge season has begun, and there's sweet FA I can do about it. Bloody pheasants in their thousands have trashed my crops, and the shoot owner had the nerve to have a go at me for trying to round up my sheep when they were driving the neighbouring fields. Like chancel repair, this should be dumped in the dustbin of history. Let me choose who shoots on my farm, and whether or not I want to contribute to church funds.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by nicowilson View Post
    Take out insurance - your solicitor should be able to advise.
    Ditto on this, we did take it insurance for chancel repair liability when we moved.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by VSS View Post
    This is just as archaic as the fact that shooting rights can still be owned by someone other than the landowner. Drives me mad - sounds like ww3 on my farm now the partridge season has begun, and there's sweet FA I can do about it. Bloody pheasants in their thousands have trashed my crops, and the shoot owner had the nerve to have a go at me for trying to round up my sheep when they were driving the neighbouring fields. Like chancel repair, this should be dumped in the dustbin of history. Let me choose who shoots on my farm, and whether or not I want to contribute to church funds.
    I wonder if the owner of the shooting rights on your farm wants to buy the farm off you with all its associated running costs? I doubt it some how. it sounds like a ridiculous right left over from a bygone era. I would be livid if I was in your situation.
    Last edited by paultap; 21-09-2016 at 14:57.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by paultap View Post
    I wonder if the owner of the shooting rights on your farm wants to buy the farm off you with all its associated running costs? I doubt it some how. it sounds like a ridiculous right left over from a bygone era. I would be livid if I was in your situation.
    Well it does piss me off a bit when I see the guy advertising one day's shooting for 10,000 which is more than I make in a year! He's just a parasite, making a living off other people's land thanks to having acquired the right to do so without the landowners in the area even being told what was going on. But hey-ho, better not hijack the thread any longer....

  10. #10
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    SS, be very, very, very wary of this. If you don't have insurance it can potentially cost thousands. You have three choices: Take the risk, take adequate watertight insurance against ir, walk away from the deal. My advice is walk away. No property is worth a headache and in addition of the vendor has "concealed" this from you then |I would be somewhat peeved to say the bloomin' least!

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