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CHANCEL REPAIRS Could cost you lots


JonCris
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Thank you!

 

Pommymike: Have already signed the petition on the Downing St website - there are 810 signatures there at the moment - how many do they need to have until they will act?

 

As a vendor, I've just become aware of this archaic law on the day I was supposed to have been exchanging contracts - having lived in the property in blissful ignorance for over 20 years!

 

The fact that you can get insurance if there is the potential for liability but not if there is liability seems a typical British rip-off to me considering the actual risk to an individaul property is still very low.

 

Anyway, I've instructed my solicitor to pay up to £100 for insurance for the purchaser -- and noticed that Downing Street now has 829 signatures on the petition!

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Not really John

 

If you told your care insurer you where at greater risk of having an accident than others they would either refuse you insurance or set your premium at a ridiculous level.

 

Incidently just in case you think I'm speaking for insurers understand that I fought them all my working life & hate them with a passion but better not to cut off ones nose to spite the face eh!

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I read your car insurance analogy further up the thread and I'm not convinced it holds water. It's more like an insurance company offering you insurance if you currently don't own a car but there's a slight possibility you might get one during the year; but you definitely can't have insurance if you already have a car even if you've owned one for 20 or more years and never claimed.

 

I read somewhere that about 500,000 houses are potentially at risk - I'd bet that the Chancel Check kicks up a much higher percentage of enquiries than that figure would suggest but, if the "true" risk of actually being "called upon" - even if you are "eligible" must still be sufficiently small else the TV adverts would be swarming with companies offering to take your money by now and every householder in the country would have been bombarded with junk mail.

 

A question I think that needs to be answered is what proportion of houses that are potentially at risk are actually liable. (The other question: Of those that are liable, what percentage will be "targetted", is, obviously un-answerable).

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Fine John you pays your money & you take your choice. We'll have to agree to disagree

 

Incidently I understand that some of the major insurers are considering adding this to their buildings & contents insurance

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Fine John you pays your money & you take your choice. We'll have to agree to disagree

 

Incidently I understand that some of the major insurers are considering adding this to their buildings & contents insurance

 

Hopefully, the insurers will add it. It seems unlikely to go away in the near future. As you say, at least, at present, there is some cover available.

 

It's just a "shame" that this sort of thing gets thrust on people pretty well out of the blue just at a time when their nerves are likely to be already nearing breaking point. (Mine certainly are!)

 

I think a little bit more publicity wouldn't go amiss... I mentioned it to the manager of my Estate Agents this morning and he had a vague recollection from a tv news item but was unsure what it's implications were. I had it thrust on me as a last-minute question from my buyer's solicitors without so much as an explanation (from my solicitor) as to what it actually meant. Someone without the benefit internet research could be floundering for days......

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I heartily agree John. I am a solicitor with 36 years experience of conveyancing and I have never heard of a client or anyone else who has actually had a claim made against them in that time by the church for chancel repair liability, apart from Mr and Mrs Wallbank.

It is rather like insurers advising car drivers that they must have insurance when no-one has actually heard of a car accident having happened anywhere in the country for the past 36 years, apart from that one incident. If anyone else knows of an actual case I would be interested to know more.

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I'm glad that someone agrees :)

 

Whilst I admit I don't know exact figures, let's say there are 40 million homes in this country. Out of those 0.5 million are potentialy liable - ie 1 chance in 20 million. To date, only 1 of those has been shown to be actually liable. The actual figure has to be much less than that and, of those, the number who would actually be required to pay is even smaller.

 

Seems like there's slightly more chance of being hit by a meteorite yet very few of us live our lives in paranoia as a result!

 

Edit: I'm sure my maths is complete rubbish there! But I think the principle still stands :)

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Pommymike what will you tell your client if they DO, like the Wallbanks, receive a claim - I would also mention the church isn't spending a considerable sum employing staff specifically to register property before the deadline for nothing - they must have a plan

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Hi

The advice on this site is fantastic, but I am still confused. If I was selling I could see why not having a full search was a good idea. I am buying a house and have like alot of others received a report saving the building is located within the historical boundary of a tithe district within a parish which continues to have a potential chancel repair liabllity. The house I am buying has been empty for 3 years and has been left to 2 cats homes. Is it worth me having a full check done to see if it is definatly at risk, If it is I can pull out of sale or re adjust price. What if I buy the insurance and then the church files a claim does my house become worthless? What happens if I want to sell it on. I was so exited at thought of moving this has put a dampner on it. Also is the level of cover about the price of your house? Any help appreciated. Thanks

Charlie

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i remember a case of this nature sometime last year where the people who purchased the property from the church found themselves with a bill to repair the church roof...the bill was in the thousands and the people who purchased the property were not aware they had to do this as it never came up on a search..it was on television so possibly the bbc still have the transcipts

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/welcome-consumer-forums/107001-how-do-i-dummies.html

 

 

 

 

Advice & opinions given by patrickq1 are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional

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the property they purchased was independant of the church by the way ?

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/welcome-consumer-forums/107001-how-do-i-dummies.html

 

 

 

 

Advice & opinions given by patrickq1 are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional

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The case you refer to is mentioned in some detail further back in this thread. The Chancel liablity was mentioned in the deeds but overlooked during the search.

 

You can be liable even if your property was built very recently. The criteria is the land it's built on. 'Tithe lands'

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tithe lands you are correct unfortunitley i had an old gerdening book dated from 1889 and it had the terms and conditions on tithe lands damm wish i had nt sold it now....never mind would nt do me any good to know about it no would it

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/welcome-consumer-forums/107001-how-do-i-dummies.html

 

 

 

 

Advice & opinions given by patrickq1 are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional

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Pommymike what will you tell your client if they DO, like the Wallbanks, receive a claim - I would also mention the church isn't spending a considerable sum employing staff specifically to register property before the deadline for nothing - they must have a plan

 

 

I would advise them not to pay and to ask the Land Registry to cancel any notice registered on their title. The Land Registry has an internal document, which can be viewed on the Law Society web site, if you search for chancel repair liability. Patrick Milne of the Land Registry says it is a public document available under their publications scheme.

 

This has been considered by the Conveyancing Committee. It mentions the argument that chancel repair liability is not an interest in land and should therefore not be registered.

 

It is just a right to collect money from a property owner. A right to extract minerals from land would be an interest in land, but there is no right for the local vicar to just go and extract gold coins from the coffers of the land owner, so it is not an interest in land.

 

Paul Marsh of the Law Society has said it would pay to fight a test case on this as it is such an unnecessary bother to solicitors, not to mention the house-buying public.

 

Mr Edward Nugee QC has an opinion on the Peterborough diocese website

http://www.peterboroughdiocesanregistry.co.uk/nugee.pdf

 

He mentions that Lord Scott said the Wickhambrook case about joint and several liability could be wrong.

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  • 2 years later...
I seem to remember seeing a case on our local TV news about a house where the owners were liable for church repairs. It was something in excess of £100,000 for one householder from memory, so it is obviously a big problem for those affected. I would have thought that if a proper search was done in the first place into this specific area as you suggest, then the insurance would not be needed.

 

Seems to me like a nice little earner for the insurance companies, for something that 99.9% of people will not need.

 

It is worth making people aware of though so thank you for that.

 

Update on this case.

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2009/oct/21/homeinsurance-insurance

 

http://www.churchtimes.co.uk/content.asp?id=82500

Edited by caro

 

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Alliance & Leicester Moneyclaim issued 20/1/07 £225.50 full settlement received 29 January 2007

Smile £1,075.50 + interest Email request for payment 24/5/06 received £1,000.50 14/7/06 + £20 30/7/06

Yorkshire Bank Moneyclaim issued 21/6/06 £4,489.39 full settlement received 26 January 2007

:p

 

Advice & opinions given by Caro are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

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  • 1 month later...
Useful information on explaining whether a Chancel search is necessary can be found in an article Conveyancing Searches - Chancel Repair Liability Search

 

 

Its most important to remind current & prospective owners that if they opt for the more detailed search they may not be able to obtain insurance & will have to register their property as being at risk

 

Also a competent conveyancer will insist on a basic search to protect the buyer & the lender

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Its most important to remind current & prospective owners that if they opt for the more detailed search they may not be able to obtain insurance & will have to register their property as being at risk

 

Also a competent conveyancer will insist on a basic search to protect the buyer & the lender

 

The article states :

 

If a full search is carried out and does reveal a liability then insurance may or may not be available. In the event that indemnity insurance is not available the conveyancing lawyer should enquire of the relevant church as to the likelihood of a claim being made in the foreseeable future and also whether the church has any records of how many other properties will share the liability. The full situation should then be reported by the conveyancing lawyer to the purchaser and lender ( and if necessary their conveyancing solicitor ) .

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It's cheaper to pay the insurance than to pay a lawyer to communicate with the Church who I doubt will give any undertaking that no claim will be made now or in the future. Also any claim will be the decision of the local vicar who may move on & the next clergy will not be bound by any such advice or promise

 

Also the inevitable delay when enquiring with a local church may mean the buyer loses the property. It's bad advice as it unnecessarily complicates the purchase

Edited by JonCris
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I take your point but as a buyer I would prefer to know what is going on rather than rely on insurance.

 

Have you or anyone else tried to make a claim on one of these insurance policies ?

 

Seems like a short cut to me.

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if you as a buyer did an in depth search & confirmed a liability I would sue you for any reduction in value & the fact that you had limited my ability to insure the property. A basic search is more than enough

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if you as a buyer did an in depth search & confirmed a liability I would sue you for any reduction in value & the fact that you had limited my ability to insure the property.

 

:?:

 

On what basis could you sue? All that has happened is that a potential liability, which has always been there, has been revealed. It would be rather like suing someone who had a survey carried out which revealed subsidence you did not know about.

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On the basis that a building survey is essential whilst an 'in depth' Chancel search is not but it does carry the risk of not being able to insure the property ........... A basic search is more than sufficient

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