Surrey parish waives chancel repair liability on local community

A Surrey based church council has taken the unusual step of waiving its rights to obtain funding from people living in the parish. The chancel repair liability (CRL) had previously forced landowners to pay for repairs to the parish church. As of 13 October 2013, under the 2002 Land Registration Act, liability ceased to be an overriding interest, although for registered land, where a notice had not been entered previously, liability continues until the first transaction for value.Despite the potential financial benefits, the Parochial Church Council of St Mary the Virgin in Horsell, Woking, decided that the churches missionary and community objectives far outweighed that of the potential financial benefits and therefore decided not to impose the CRL on the community.Alex Weller, a property solicitor at Setfords Solicitors, welcomed the stance taken by the Horsell PCC. ‘This is great news and a welcome dose of common sense in an issue that many clients have found confusing. Despite the changes introduced in October the liability does not cease until the registration of the next transfer for valuable consideration meaning that anyone receiving a property by Will or gift would still have the liability attached to it. If more PCCS would take this approach it would be greatly welcomed by solicitors and their clients but maybe not by the sellers of the sometimes expensive indemnity policies!’The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.Setfords Solicitors are a national full service law firm, with residential property solicitors in Surrey and across the country.