News & Insights // Chancel Repair Liability - Misconception v Fact

Misconception 1

Chancel Repair Liability (CRL) ends on 13th October 2013.

If the liability has already been registered it is an obligation that lasts in perpetuity – so the conveyancer still needs to check the title documents. Chancel Repair Liability doesn’t stop after 12/10/2013...
Misconception 2

Properties cannot be registered by the Church after 12th October 2013.

The Church STILL has the right to register their interest in perpetuity, except if a property has changed hands post 12/10/2013 for valuable consideration and the title has been registered.
Misconception 3

The Land Registration Act 2002 states that CRL is no longer an overriding interest from midnight on 12th October 2013.

Only at the point where the land has transacted and been registered at the Land Registry does the ability for the Church to register a notice cease.
Misconception 4

Transferring title will resolve the issue of liability post 12th October 2013.

A party received the property post 12th October 2013 by gift, transaction at undervalue, inheritance or on divorce it could still be liable as this doesn’t qualify as for “valuable consideration”.
Misconception 5

The Church is not looking to register any properties for CRL.

The Church has been advising its Parochial Church Councils (PCCs) to register all liable properties by this date to guarantee they are allowed to, but this doesn’t mean they can’t after 12th October 2013. Currently 25 out of 43 Diocese in England and Wales are known to be investigating which properties are liable and actively registering.
Misconception 6

The Charities Commission has said PCCs do not need to register for CRL and they will be free from their trustee duties.

The Charities Commission have stated that each PCC must continue to act as trustees unless specific circumstances dictate otherwise, i.e they must continue to enforce CRL.
Misconception 7

I will no longer need to search or insure for CRL after 12th October 2013.

The conveyancer still needs to carry out a ChancelCheck to determine potential liability and then insure away any potential risk to ensure the Church’s actions don’t scupper any transactions or worse, the conveyancers open themselves up to claims of negligence for not carrying out ChancelChecks on transactions post 12th October 2013.
Misconception 8

I only need to search and insure on residential properties.

Chancel repair liability applies as equally to commercial property as it does to residential.
What impact does this have?

To avoid this scenario, you should continue to guarantee the security of your client…
…with ChancelCheck® - a unique, instant, low cost screening report designed to identify parishes where there is a continuing potential to charge for repairs to the parish church chancel.

…with ChancelSure® - the market leading Chancel Repair indemnity product, providing comprehensive protection and the highest rated insurance security available for the homeowner.
Useful tools for conveyancers:

Land Registry Practice Guides 15 & 66