News & Insights // Don't let a medieval law catch you (or your PI insurers) out!

Chancel Repair Liability is a clear and present danger for Conveyancing solicitors and Licensed conveyancers. Remember the Chancel Repair Liability case - Aston Cantlow vs Wallbanks? The Wallbanks ended up having to pay circa £400,000 in repairs and legal costs. 

You may think that this liability isn't applicable to where you practice – but consider the following... 

  • The property doesn't need to be near a church to be affected – a lot of liable properties can be miles from the church the liability relates to
  • It's the land the property lies on that is affected, so this can be anything from a new build to one that is several hundred years old
  • Local authority owned land can be liable
  • It applies to commercial property as well as residential
  • The property doesn't have to be called "Glebe Farm" on "Church Close" to be liable...
  • Welsh properties can be affected
  • If you don't know where the medieval parish boundaries are, you can't know to which Church a property is liable
Andrew Wallbank says: 

"With the resurrection of this worrying medieval law no property can, at first glance, be guaranteed safe from a potentially crippling liability. At the very least we strongly recommend that everyone should establish if they are in a risk parish." 

ChancelCheck® search is only £20 plus VAT and will identify a potential chancel repair liability down to tithe district level and includes Enclosure Awards and Corn Rent Data. The search complies with Lender requirements to carry out "all usual and necessary searches", is HIP compliant and includes £2 million search insurance as standard. 

If you are in the minority of conveyancers that choose not to inform clients of potential chancel repair liability you may want to notify your PI insurers that you have decided not to comply with lender guidance to carry out "all usual and necessary searches". 

To order 
ChancelCheck® simply go online at, and your ChancelCheck® search and the invoice will be returned to you in seconds. It's the same simple process for ordering the market leading ChancelSure® insurance – offering diminution in value and 200% escalator clauses as standard. 

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