Pitfalls Of Ancient Homeowner Laws

Owning a home is expensive. Besides the initial house purchase itself, which is restricted to many in today’s recessionary economy, there are ongoing maintenance and running costs which can often leave little spare cash from your hard-earned wages each month.

But what about unexpected house-related bills which you haven’t accounted for in your monetary budgeting?

Every homeowner is occasionally plagued with a broken boiler, frozen pipes, blocked drains, broken windows or other such costly annoyances. But chancel repair liability?

Today’s Conveyancer has reported an ancient law dating as far back as Henry VIII which essentially means that unwitting owners could be issued large bills to help pay for repairs to their local parish churches. The recent case of the Wallbanks vs the Parochial Church Council of Aston Cantlow proves that landowners stand to lose millions and that, despite previous assurances by the local vicar, they can be deemed responsible for upkeep of rectorial land.

Although the Church of England needs financial support, should it be provided by local parishioners? In these difficult times, with purse strings being tightened UK-wide, surely families can ill afford additional financial burdens?

However, from 12th October 2013, the legally binding chancel repair liability responsibility will be changed from an overriding interest and must be registered by way of a notice against the property title at the Land Registry. This means that a purchase buying land on property after the 13th of October 2013 will take the liability unless it is protected by such notices against the property title.

For more information on chancel repair liability, support with Land Registry processes, or to find out about your legal rights in general conveyancing matters, please contact Farani Taylor on +44 (0) 20 7242 1666.

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