What Are Your Chances of a Surprise Chancel Repair Liability?

Chancel Repair Liability is legally enforceable and has been enforced in just recent years.  It’s a long-standing law and may not be changing in the foreseeable future.  Every property won’t come with a Chancel Repair Liability, but the chances are always there. Why Would I be responsible for CRL? If you are called upon to be involved in a Chancel Repair, it will be because of your property’s proximity to a parish church.  You might be asked to repair, or contribute to the repairs, of the chancel.  The land your home is on is the issue here.  Often the land was originally part of the rectory and was likely given as an endowment, making the law much more reasonable at the time it was developed. During Medieval times, monasteries had a number of rectories.  However, once those monasteries ceased to be, that land came into public ownership.  It was made clear at the time that the people who opted to move on to the land held the same responsibility as the church owners who were there previously.  That included the obligation to repair the chancel, or the roof above it. If you elect to move into a home in which a CRL is attached, you are electing to take on the same responsibility, to help in maintaining your parish church.  Since 1932, county courts will see that, if the church chooses to press their case, you will be made to pay. Cathedral Ceiling Will I Be Surprised by a Chancel Repair Liability? Most people know that their home is on CRL property.  It is very unlikely that you recently purchased a home and were not aware that it was subject to Chancel Repair Liability. The law is unlikely to go away.  The Church of England feels they can’t be expected to take on additional financial burdens as 45% of the nation’s historical building and important churches are in their financial care.  They say they can't possibly forego funding they may desperately need unless money comes from another source.  So CRL will not be disappearing, no matter how little the law is liked. As of just a few days from now, 14 October 2013, it will be definitively clear with every property whether or not the land is subject to CRL.  Though there’s no Chancel Repair Liability registry coming in the near future, everyone should be able to see what their chances are in encountering this problem.

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