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Has anyone ever had to buy chancel repair insurance?

(16 Posts)
HeadFairy Fri 25-Sep-09 20:00:37

It's something that's come up on the searches on the house we're buying. Apparently our house is within "the historical boundary of a parish which continues to have a potential liability to contribute to the repair of the chancel of a church". It's not a massive thing, £60 I think buys us a years premiums, however, it's just not something I've heard of before and wondered if it entails something more?

Millarkie Fri 25-Sep-09 20:07:26

We bought it when we moved to this house - although I think it was a one-off fee rather than annual. It's common in East Anglia (according to my mate who is a conveyancer here). And there was a highly publicised case a few years ago where a parish church asked the locals to pay for repairs because of some ancient law.

MaryBS Fri 25-Sep-09 20:09:04

Yes, a friend had to pay a similar sum. Can't get away from it, unfortunately, you have to pay.

MaryBS Fri 25-Sep-09 20:09:35

Oh, and the money doesn't go to the church, despite the name hmm

CMOTdibbler Fri 25-Sep-09 20:11:21

We bought it - it was a one off payment when we bought the house.

It's just that you could be asked to pay towards reroofing the church in theory, and if there aren't many houses in the parish, it could be pricey

perdu Fri 25-Sep-09 20:11:45

Your solicitor will/should advise you to get it as the risks are far too great.

I think there was a case where someone had to pay something daft like £45,000 to repair the church....gulp

HeadFairy Fri 25-Sep-09 20:14:09

Oh maybe the £60 mentioned by the solicitor was a one off fee... she's trying to get the sellers to pay that for us, but to be honest I don't mind. It won't break the bank, and it's got to be better than paying £45k (double gulp!)

perdu Fri 25-Sep-09 20:32:11

I used to work in property law and have a vague memory that the insurance is for a fixed term so just find that out and remember to renew it I guess

good luck

Liskey Fri 25-Sep-09 21:05:31

It is insurance against the risk of paying for church repairs. There is quite a famous case where a farm was liable to pay for repairs for a church - the owners I believe went bankrupt as they could not afford to pay after the court case. If the land you are buying was originally part of the diocese then you could become liable. The insurance is usually not required but well worth it!

Rebeccaj Fri 25-Sep-09 21:11:01

see if you can get your sellers to pay it - that's what ours did to us! It's quite a common thing in some areas of London. Our buyer's solicitor was from portsmouth I think and had never heard of it!

HeadFairy Fri 25-Sep-09 21:34:23

Thanks everyone, I will try and get the sellers to pay it, but they're quite tricksy and we've been homeless for 8 weeks now and are keen to get moving in!

We're not in London Rebecca - Reigate, but it is a pretty old part, lots of Victorian houses, so I guess it dates from then.

navyeyelasH Fri 25-Sep-09 22:43:04

yup we had it with out house purchase too!

wildfig Sat 26-Sep-09 09:43:52

we had to pay it as well: £75, I think, for a one-off indemnity/licence for insurers to make money. Our solicitor gave us the full dramatic monologue about the village that refused to rebuild the church, was found liable, villagers took their case (and presumably pitchforks) to the court of appeal, LOST, had to pay costs as well as new church, bankruptcy all round...

Our village has two churches. Thought it better to be safe than sorry, although it does have all the hallmarks of a terrible Richard Curtis romcom.

bamboo Sat 26-Sep-09 09:53:38

Most solicitors think it's wise to have it now. Just one of the things you have to swallow and accept I think - the insurance companies must be laughing all the way to the bank hmm.

I'm sure the onus is on your vendors to buy it though. We certainly did when we sold, and our vendors paid for it on the house we were buying, so it all worked out!

bamboo Tue 29-Sep-09 12:19:43

Recent case here.

GooseyLoosey Tue 29-Sep-09 12:21:40

Yep - we have it too. Just is not worth the risk of them coming after you for the cost of a new church roof. I think that in a few years the whole problem is going away but I might have imagined this.

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