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They think it’s all over…it is now. Or is it?

This blog is a continuation from our previous blog on this subject of 26 February 2013. Churches may have been given a ten year ‘heads up’ but at midnight on 13 October this year, Chancel Repair Liability (CRL) (as well as various other customary rights) will cease to have overriding status in most property transactions.

Approximately 5,000 churches in England and Wales benefit from CRL which is to cease to have effect from 13 October 2013, providing the church has not registered the CRL with the Land Registry. Churches will continue to have the right to register the CRL until 12 October 2013.

The church has been advising its Parochial Church Councils to register its CRL with the Land Registry for the past years but there has not been the influx of registrations one might have imagined.

The consequence of the church not registering the CRL is that purchasers for value will no longer have the obligation to contribute towards CRL.

Nevertheless, a transfer of a property without consideration (a gift, assent under the terms of a will or through the intestacy rules) will not escape the liability of CRL.

We appreciate that this subject inspires a number of questions from home owners and those looking to purchase property. We have therefore set out a number of frequently asked questions below:

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is CRL?

CRL is a historic right granted to over 5000 churches in England and Wales which allows the church to obtain contributions from local residents to fund the repairs to the chancel.   

  1. Can I be affected by CRL even if there isn’t a church near my property?

Yes, we advise you conduct a chancel repair search on any property you wish to purchase to find out whether you will be affected by CRL.

  1. What can you do to avoid CRL?

Wait until 13 October 2013 to purchase a property, providing it is for value and the CRL has not been registered with the Land Registry.

  1. What can I do if I am going to be effected by CRL?

You can take out CRL insurance which is relatively inexpensive and can be obtained from as little as £10 (dependant on the value of the property).

For assistance with the sale or purchase of your property or for information about chancel repair indemnity policies please contact a member of the Commercial Property team at Blacks.

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