Chancel Repair Liability, a medieval anomaly, could affect half a million properties in England & Wales. Whilst the liability may not be recorded in the title to the property, it may still be binding on the current owner. As the liability relates to former rectorial land which often stretched for many miles, it can affect old or new properties, urban or rural, and the potential costs can run into thousands of pounds.
A ChancelCheck search identifies whether the land on which a property is built retains a potential liability to contribute to the cost of repairs to the chancel of a parish church.
If your client wants a definitive answer as to whether the property has chancel liability and is not looking for an insured solution, they may be interested in a Chancel Repair Search. This is a personal search carried out at the National Archives in Kew. It checks the Records of Ascertainment which are the official documents listing those parishes and plots of land where chancel repair liability continues to exist. As well as helping to identify the likelihood of liability in respect of a particular property, it will also identify the proportion of the total cost to be paid in respect of each liable property.