Chancel liability relates to an archaic law dating back to Henry VIII allow the church to demand home owners pay for repairs of their local church if their home is built on land that at some distant time belonged to the church. It dates back to when Churches or more specifically their Chancel’s were maintained by wealthy land owners.
This law was recently enforced (2008) on a couple (the Wallbanks) who had to pay the church 200k for repairs of St John the Baptist church near Stratford upon Avon. They challenged this in many courts at various levels, spending thousands on legal bills, but ultimately could not overturn the decision.
Conveyancing Solicitors are obliged to carry our and Chancel Search often spot this liability during the purchase/conveyancing process. Purchasers have to pay for a “search” to check to see if the property is at risk of liability. The prospective home owner is then forced to take out around £100 of indemnity insurance just in case the church sues them at some point due to this Chancel Liability.
Fridaysmove calls upon the government to repeal Chancel Liability as not only is it completely unfair and unreasonable for a church to demand payments from those with no practical connection to the building. One other benefit is that it would make the home buying process less expensive.