What is Chancel Repair Liability?
Chancel repair insurance covers loss, costs and expenses incurred that are directly attributable to a chancel repair liability.
So what is chancel repair liability?
Chancel repair liability obliges landowners to pay for the repair of the chancel of the church. This dates back to medieval times, when churches (or, more specifically, their chancels) were maintained by wealthy landowners. Since then, these estates of land have been sold off and broken down in to many thousands of privately owned properties; the chancel repair liability has been passed down to the successive owners.
Why might this affect me?
Although a change in law came into effect in October 2013 removing all chancel repair obligations on properties, it did not affect all properties. The local parish church had the option to note its interest in a particular property or piece of land with the Land Registry prior to the change taking effect, thereby registering a notice of chancel repair liability. Also, if a property was owned and registered before October 2013, then it is still vulnerable to chancel repair liability.
Why do I need Chancel Repair Insurance?
Despite the change in law, cover continues to be required for those properties with a recorded liability, for existing owners where a liability may exist and usually in the case in the case of a re-mortgage. If you are in the process of buying a property, your conveyancing solicitor may recommend chancel repair insurance as a precautionary measure.
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