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Chancel repair liability

(24 Posts)
jammic Mon 22-Oct-12 12:49:44

We are currently buying our family house and the searches have just come back from the solicitors. Apparently our new house is at risk of chancel repair liability. Has anyone any experience of this?

Spoke to our solicitor today, who said we can pay £100 ish to have a full search to confirm it or we can get a 25 year single payment insurance for £120 (or £200 for a lifelong policy). The solicitor said most people just get the insurance without doing the full search.

The quote he gave me includes their admin fee so I was going to have a hunt round to see if we could get it any cheaper...?

Any advice much appreciated.

EdithWeston Mon 22-Oct-12 13:01:28

There's still a year to go before the dealing by which the Church must register Chancel Repair liability on the Land register. So if the property is near an old Anglican church, it probably is worth coughing up for insurance as the cost of it is tiny consider to the bills you could be faced with should should the liability be activated.

Getting a full search on the status now doesn't seem worth it, as even if it shows none at present, it could still be added before the deadline. it might be worth finding out for sure one way or another after the deadline, because once there the insurability changes. That won't affect you if you have bought a policy that covers you for as long as you remain in the property, but it will of course show up when you come to sell.

jammic Mon 22-Oct-12 13:07:39

It all seems like a complete scam. Your house might be at risk, it might not. It might be on the list, it might not, it might be added later. We're not planning on moving again - would you just get the life cover? At least then the premiums etc can't shoot up...

StrangerintheNight Mon 22-Oct-12 14:08:51

We decided to ignore the insurance company's very kind offer of cover. Am still fairly confident nothing will come of it, but if you want peace of mind then I suppose it's a relatively small cost amongst the many other moving expenses.

Tincletoes Mon 22-Oct-12 14:15:37

We had this. In the end we paid for the insurance, mainly because the cost seemed low when considering all the other costs of moving, and also because of this case:

www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2008/dec/08/church-of-england?mobile-redirect=false

However, when finding that case, I also found this which may give you more confidence not to bother!

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hereford-worcester-19335983

financialwizard Mon 22-Oct-12 15:40:34

I have always paid the chancel repair insurance. By the way I don't think you can get it anywhere other than through your solicitor.

GrandPoohBah Mon 22-Oct-12 17:23:11

We didn't get it. I've managed blocks of flats in chancel repair areas, in built up areas the liability is usually very small. Plus they've not got that long to register it and the churches locally to us are quite new - all made me a bit unfussed. You should weigh up your own risk though smile

fresh Mon 22-Oct-12 17:45:18

If yours is the only house within a 5 mile radius of the church, I'd buy the insurance. If it's in a high density area which has a church in it, I wouldn't bother. Personally I think it's completely unnecessary; I asked our solicitor if she'd bought it when she bought her house. She didn't. That's good enough for me.

TiAAAAARGHo Mon 22-Oct-12 17:49:59

Get the insurance, I did. If you do a proper search to confirm, you will then be unable to get any insurance (and given the search requires going through church records, you migh tip off the church that they can get you for repairs). As the liability can be hundreds of thousands of pounds, it's worth it to pay the £120.

nocake Mon 22-Oct-12 17:57:29

It's a scam. The company selling the insurance is the same company who do the searches. Your solicitor requests a search and in almost every case it flags up a potential liability so you buy the insurance. It's in the company's interest to flag your house up so they can flog you insurance.

I did the research when we bought our house and given it was built in 1865 it's more likely to be at risk than others. If you do end up with a liability (which is unlikely) the church would then have to claim against it (which is even more unlikely). If they did claim the amount you pay is based on an ancient formula and is spread across all the houses in the area. That means you'd be liable for a very small amount... quite possibly less than the cost of the insurance.

nocake Mon 22-Oct-12 18:00:20

I should add... the case that people mention where a couple ended up paying thousands is completely different, even though the scam company use it in their advertising. The house had a specific mention of a liability in the deeds. If your deeds don't mention a liability then don't worry about a search or insurance.

Tincletoes Mon 22-Oct-12 18:15:27

Good point nocake

Unfortunately it was in our deeds which is why we were advised to do it!

jammic Mon 22-Oct-12 19:57:44

Thanks everyone. Much appreciated.

It's not in our deeds, but we are moving to a rural area. Probably a couple of hundred houses in the village? We're pretty tempted to take a chance but it wasn't something we'd ever even heard of before! Just want to make sure we're as clued up as we can be.

EdithWeston Mon 22-Oct-12 21:33:11

"if your deeds don't mention a liability" - be careful on that. The liability does not currently have to be mentioned on the deeds for it to exist and to be upheld in court. It must however be on the deeds by October 2013.

jammic Mon 22-Oct-12 22:21:11

Thanks Edith, a useful point to bear in mind. We keep getting such different advice about it, that we keep changing our mind about what to do! I think we're going to pay it and just get it sorted!

FishfingersAreOK Mon 22-Oct-12 22:34:33

Can you not get the vendors to pay/pay half?

oldbootface Mon 22-Oct-12 23:25:12

Our insurance, through solicitor, was £10.

fuckwittery Mon 22-Oct-12 23:34:19

Are you sure that wasn't just the chancel check, oldbootface? Doesn't sound like you needed the insurance, that sounds like the cost for checking if you needed.

Have a look at this website for a quote www.clsl.co.uk/private-individuals/ for the insurance OP, to see if your sol is adding on any "admin" cost for obtaining it.

oldbootface Mon 22-Oct-12 23:44:40

oh 'eck, f**kwittery, I'm not sure now you come to mention it blush

jammic Tue 23-Oct-12 11:20:56

It was £17 for our search and they're quoting £120 for the insurance, including their admin.

I did ask our solicitor if the vendor would pay half/some/all but he said it wasn't appropriate as it was our policy.

jammic Tue 23-Oct-12 11:26:20

fuckwittery that is excellent. £70 for 25 years, £100 for life. LOADS cheaper than what the solicitors were charging grin thank you

Sushiqueen Tue 23-Oct-12 13:48:28

You may find that it is still cheaper to get the insurance through your solicitors.

We also took out the insurance. We got a cheaper quote than our solicitors quoted us. BUT they would still have charged us an admin fee for dealing with the insurance. They still had to deal with it as, once the issue was raised, some mortgage companies will insist on it being in place as part of the mortgage conditions. So the solicitor had to be involved. I had endless emails with the solicitors arguing about the cost.

So it worked out slightly cheaper to get the insurance through the solicitors still.

Toomuchtea Fri 26-Oct-12 11:46:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Toomuchtea Fri 26-Oct-12 11:48:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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