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ScaredEitherWay

Couple Forced To Sell House To Pay £230k Chancel Liability Bill

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I've heard/read about these people before, but finally they are putting their property up for sale to settle the £230k chancel liability bill.

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/130669...-church-repairs

A COUPLE have had to put their house up for auction to pay for repairs to a historic church after failing to overturn an obscure medieval law.

Andrew and Gail Wallbank say they have no choice but to sell the ­farmhouse after being saddled with a £230,000 bill to shore up the nearby church’s crumbling chancel.

The couple fought an 18-year battle to overturn the law over upkeep of the 13th century St John the ­Baptist Church in Aston Cantlow, Warwicks – where Shakespeare’s ­parents got married.

They are responsible for major works under a “chancel repair ­liability†clause dating back 800 years to when the church gave the farm 2.75 acres.

The owners of Glebe Farm, were named as lay rectors and agreed to pay for most repairs to the church.

The couple inherited the farm from 60-year-old Mrs Wallbank’s father in 1990 – and were promptly presented with a bill for repairs by church officials.

After losing their court battle in the House of Lords, they are auctioning the house with a £500,000 guide price.

Of that, £230,000 will pay for the church repairs, while £250,000 will be used to recoup what they have had to spend on legal fees. Mr Wallbank, 64, said: “We will see very little change from the sale because the money will be used to pay for the repairs.â€

The couple, who run a sheep farm in Caersws, mid-Wales, need to achieve the full asking price in order to buy themselves, and future buyers, out of the repair liability.

Mr Wallbank added: “We are in a catch-22 situation. We can’t afford to drop the price because we need that money to get out of the liability. Without that, we will be very lucky to get a buyer.†The Diocese of Coventry refused to comment yesterday.

Here it is: http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sa...y-27180452.html

Edited by ScaredEitherWay

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It is a very sorry story I remember reading about this a while back, of course it gave rise to a good business in chancel searches and chancel insurance as it doesn't matter where you live you could be liable for the church repairs based on ancient parish boundaries.

Since before the Reformation churches in England and Wales have been ministered by either a vicar, who received a stipend (salary), or a rector, who received tithes from the parish. The rectors (of around 5,200 churches) were responsible for the repairs of the chancel of their church, while the parish members were responsible for the rest. Many monasteries acquired rectorships and thus became liable for chancel repairs. When Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries and sold their land, the chancel repair liability passed to the new owners and persists today, even after subdivision. These owners are called lay impropriators or lay rectors.

The recovery of funds from lay rectors is governed by the Chancel Repairs Act 1932.

The land may not have been adjacent to the church, and the liability may not have been recorded. It can be difficult to determine whether or not such liability applies to a particular piece of land as it may not be identified on the deeds nor at the Land Registry. Insurance can, however, be taken out to cover the costs of repairs. The premium is usually a relatively small amount, which is normally paid by the property owner on purchase covering the property for up to 25 years.

Through provisions made under the power of the Land Registration Act 2002, this situation will change with effect from 13 October 2013. Thereafter chancel repair liability will only bind new owners of registered land if it is protected by an entry in the land register. This puts the onus on Parochial Church Councils to identify all affected land and register their interest before that date (no fee is charged).

A online petition to the Prime Minister requesting legislation to remove this liability resulted in the following response from 10 Downing Street on 6 March 2008:

Chancel Repair Liability has existed for several centuries and the Government has no plans to abolish it or to introduce a scheme for its redemption. The Government has, however, acted to make the existence of the liability much simpler to discover. From October 2013, chancel repair liability will only bind buyers of registered land if it is referred to on the land register. By that time, virtually all freehold land in England and Wales will be registered. The Government believes that this approach strikes a fair balance between the landowners subject to the liability and its owners who are, in England, generally Parochial Church Councils and, in Wales, the Representative Body of the Church in Wales.

The Government acknowledges that the existence of a liability for chancel repair will, like any other legal obligation, affect the value of the property in question, but in many cases this effect can be mitigated by relatively inexpensive insurance. It is for the parties involved in a transaction to decide whether or not to take out insurance.

I do remember reading somewhere that parish councils were being pressured to get liabilities written into deeds at the LR or the Church would hold the parish council personally responsible !

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I've heard/read about these people before, but finally they are putting their property up for sale to settle the £230k chancel liability bill.

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/130669...-church-repairs

Here it is: http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sa...y-27180452.html

Good luck selling that place - comes with unlimited liability for maintenance of a fecking church?

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Good luck selling that place - comes with unlimited liability for maintenance of a fecking church?

You can get Chancel liability insurance that covers this IIRC. Obviously not post dated though....

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You can get Chancel liability insurance that covers this IIRC. Obviously not post dated though....

I assume that as the insurers virtually know for sure that they'll get stiffed for repair bills then the premiums will be v high? Those churches cost a bomb to maintain, they're always having lead nicked from their roofs for example.

V difficult to impossible to sell in the current market without that extra problem I'd have thought.

Unless the C of E buys it as a vicarage. :lol:

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When they finally flog the house, why don't they buy a nice boat?

Lindisfarne%20ataque%20vikingo.jpg

These guys seem to be on the right track

+1

I found the following particularly poor "The Diocese of Coventry refused to comment yesterday" but typical.

I say burn the church down, probably only the vicar and his odd looking friend that ever use the place anyway.

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What I've always found odd is that the law was lurking about all this time and very few people ever got caught out at all.

You'd have thought the churches would have been taking the opportunity of receiving ongoing/yearly fees and charges to keep them going. They missed a trick there really.

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What I've always found odd is that the law was lurking about all this time and very few people ever got caught out at all.

You'd have thought the churches would have been taking the opportunity of receiving ongoing/yearly fees and charges to keep them going. They missed a trick there really.

Would arson have helped?

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Heralds the New Fuedalism. Inheritance of bondage.

Allow inheritance to pass on entire, with debt settled on one's children and the process will be complete.

Edited by Laughing Gnome

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Nice to see the courts upholding medieval law.

Its a dissgrace this country

What they should do is agree the bill but explain they can only get the money when they sell their house

Then put it on the market for 14 million

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You can get Chancel liability insurance that covers this IIRC. Obviously not post dated though....
I assume that as the insurers virtually know for sure that they'll get stiffed for repair bills then the premiums will be v high? Those churches cost a bomb to maintain, they're always having lead nicked from their roofs for example.

V difficult to impossible to sell in the current market without that extra problem I'd have thought.

Unless the C of E buys it as a vicarage. :lol:

Yes you can get it and when I got a quote from some properties (the company's) it was very cheap. These big bills come about very infrequently.

As this liability would put most people off I keep an eye out for anything underpriced because of it, because it can be insured against.

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Yes you can get it and when I got a quote from some properties (the company's) it was very cheap. These big bills come about very infrequently.

As this liability would put most people off I keep an eye out for anything underpriced because of it, because it can be insured against.

The whole newbuild estate I bought on in March is on ex-farmland that had chancel liability to the local village church 2 miles up the road. The liability is now shared between the farm and the 850 houses on the estate.

My solicitor picked it up and I was hiven the option to pay a one off insurance fee of £55 for "chancel liability insurance. Based on this case I thought why not as even only £250k between 850 houses is still £300 per address so I paid it.

But....................it's not transferable to a new owner, pilcy covers the home owner not the house, so a rip off in that respect.

M

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I would rather burn the farmhouse the the ground and spray toxic waste on the land to make it worthless than give the church a ******ing penny. I would then go to the church every sunday and disturb every service in protest.

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The temptation to burn the church to the ground would have got to me in their situation I'm afraid :angry:

Funny you should mention that - I was just about to say it - if that happened to me, I would have burned it down. And killed the vicar and his family with a hammer, just to be on the safe side.

I've always taken the view that if some situation arises whereby my life can be f***ed by some stupid law, then I would think well I may as well start killing people and destroying things now, by way of revenge.

Very hard to stop someone who doesn't care any more.

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I understood that the deal they did with the church meant that a future owner would have no continuing liability.

This seems to be a one-off but as a result hundreds of thousands of people are buying chancel repair insurance at £50 to £100 a time. I bet the insurers have hyped this story.

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Funny you should mention that - I was just about to say it - if that happened to me, I would have burned it down. And killed the vicar and his family with a hammer, just to be on the safe side.

I've always taken the view that if some situation arises whereby my life can be f***ed by some stupid law, then I would think well I may as well start killing people and destroying things now, by way of revenge.

Very hard to stop someone who doesn't care any more.

Just the sort of sociopathic rant I would expect from a confirmed Nazi <_<

You arent very nice are you...

...shame :(

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