Updated: Apr 17
What is Chancel Repair Liability?
Chancel Repair Liability (CRL) is financial obligations imposed on some property owners in England and Wales to pay for certain repairs to a church which may or may not be the local parish church.
This liability is attached directly to the land and can extend to a property or site that is situated a long way from a church making it difficult to identity if a property falls within the area affected.
This liability can affect many properties, however it can also be claimed against just one singular property resulting in one homeowner to pay the bill and claim contributions from other landowners in the area.
Changes Made in 2013:
From 2013 CRL ceased to be an overriding interest which meant that if it was to continue to affect a property or land. This had to be published on the Land Registry Documents and be stated on the title deeds as a potential liability to any homeowners.
Approximately 250 churches applied to the Land Registry and notices of this right was applied to over 12,000 properties.
What does this mean now?
Church Repair Liability has not been abolished and the fact that a church has not registered a notice does not mean that they have lost the right to apply.
What do I need to do?
When purchasing a property it is essential that CRL searches are carried out and indemnity insurance is applied for on properties that are either un registered or have not been transferred e.g sold since 2013.
Important to note:
Homeowners should be aware that Land Registry Practice is to register new notices without examining the validity as the burden to object to a notice falls solely on the landowner. This means that even if the property was sold after 2013 their is risk that the liability will be added.
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