Chancel liability dates back to medieval times. It exists where the church was granted powers to charge rectorial property for the upkeep of the chancel of the parish church. The risk is unquantifiable, not detailed in the title documents and can affect any property.
Media attention has been focused on chancel repair liability in the last few years, due to a couple being forced to pay over £95,000 for repairs to their local church. The homeowners in this case (Aston Catlow v Wallbanks) were also faced with £140,000 legal costs, in a case which ultimately went to the House of Lords and enforces the Church’s right to charge parishioners for church upkeep.
A commonly held misconception is that a property must be adjacent or close to a church to be at risk from a chancel repair liability, or that a property must be in a rural location. In fact, ancient rectorial land was not necessarily close to the church.
The following chancel searches are available from HomeInfo UK Limited.
ChancelCheck is a low cost and accurate screening report designed to inform the legal profession as to whether or not a property is situated within a historical parish where there continues to be a potential for chancel repair liability. ChancelCheck is the only service which combines historical parish boundary data, modern Geographical Information System (GIS) mapping techniques and information derived from the relevant Inland Revenue Indices held by the National Archive.
This service is recommended in every transaction and currently is available for £20.00 +VAT.
ChancelCheck Premium is an enhanced ChancelCheck search report for large areas of land. It is a low cost screening report designed for analysing large areas of land where there is a potential charge for chancel repair liability.
A ChancelCheck Premium report is recommended if the proeprty fits one or more of the following criteria:
- The radius of the property is larger than 25 metres.
- The address of the property is OWPA (object without address, such as ‘land at’)
- The property falls within more than one parish
Previously, for a large area of land, 4 or more ChancelCheck reports would have to be ordered which would greatly increase the cost.
With ChancelCheck premium, the cost is just £75.00, this is less than 4 ChancelCheck searches combined.
How To Order
To order a ChancelCheck Premium report, you will need to submit an order along with a plan clearly outlining the boundaries of the property.
The simplest way to order a ChancelCheck premium is to use ConveyIT. If you’re a ConveyIT user you can submit the request electronically and you can also plot out the plan using our mapping tool. We will then return the results electronically to your email address.
To download the product card for the ChancelCheck Premium report, please click on the link below.ChancelCheck Premium Product Card (221)
Chancel Repair search reports are carried out at the Public Records office to ascertain if there are any entries against a specific property in that parish which indicate liability.
This is available for £117.50 including VAT and is recommended where the client wants a definitive answer and is not looking at an insured solution.
Page last updated: September 30, 2014.