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Chancel Repair Liabilities


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Agreed. Even after the CRL was placed on the Land Registry against my land (presumably marking its existence) I still can't' find a single bit of evidence.

I spend all day Googling things, I contacted the National Archive, and also a £100 fee for a Record of Ascertainment found nothing. I think it would be easier to find the Holy Grail.

Sounds like you have a good case for saying that there are no sufficiently public records for your property. Beware of the Leopard!

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Well a piece of dodgy reporting since all petroleum and gas is invested in the Crown by the Petroleum Act of 1934 and so fracking is unlikely to benefit the church.

That wasn't eactly the bit which I found interesting:

Residents across England have started receiving letters from the Land Registry, informing them that the Church is seeking to register the mineral rights to the earth beneath their property.

. . .

The commissioners are seeking to assert the Church’s ownership of mineral rights beneath up to 500,000 acres of land, an area roughly the size of Sussex.

The claim is being made under laws dating back to the Norman conquests, which give “lords of the manor” rights to exploit the earth under property on their former estates.

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That wasn't eactly the bit which I found interesting:

The Lordship of the manors have normally very little to do with mineral rights although they can be related but not often. It is the weird way in which land could be sold where land could be above the ground can be divorced from the land above. I have a friend who has discovered that the mineral rights to his fairly average p[property are owned by the coal board and the manorial rights (to hunt and to fish) are owned by some obscure company based in jersey.

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The Lordship of the manors have normally very little to do with mineral rights although they can be related but not often. It is the weird way in which land could be sold where land could be above the ground can be divorced from the land above. I have a friend who has discovered that the mineral rights to his fairly average p[property are owned by the coal board and the manorial rights (to hunt and to fish) are owned by some obscure company based in jersey.

The problem with the current property ownership system is it's very hard to figure out which, if any, of these claims are legitimate (or even if the claims about the claims are legitimate) without being an expert, and even then it doesn't appear to be cut and dry.

It's almost as if we need major land reform :blink:

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  • 2 months later...

An ancient law which can force homeowners to pay for their local church's repairs is blighting properties and depressing house sales, say campaigners. But what is chancel repair liability and what is the best way to deal with it?

When Elaine Hession opened the letter she almost passed out and her partner Jonathan Hill turned "as white as a ghost".Last month the couple received a notice from the Land Registry informing them their local church had registered its right to make them contribute to the cost of repairs.Under chancel repair liability, homeowners living within the parishes of churches built before 1536 can be held liable for costs. The law dates back to the time of Henry VIII and, although actual claims are rare, in 2009 Adrian and Gail Wallbank from Warwickshire sold their home after losing an 18-year legal case and being left with costs of £250,000.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-26373756

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An ancient law which can force homeowners to pay for their local church's repairs is blighting properties and depressing house sales, say campaigners. But what is chancel repair liability and what is the best way to deal with it?

When Elaine Hession opened the letter she almost passed out and her partner Jonathan Hill turned "as white as a ghost".Last month the couple received a notice from the Land Registry informing them their local church had registered its right to make them contribute to the cost of repairs.Under chancel repair liability, homeowners living within the parishes of churches built before 1536 can be held liable for costs. The law dates back to the time of Henry VIII and, although actual claims are rare, in 2009 Adrian and Gail Wallbank from Warwickshire sold their home after losing an 18-year legal case and being left with costs of £250,000.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-26373756

My understanding is that various denomonations of the church are very wealthy. Yet I've noticed over the years that when any church repairs or improvements are needed it's full steam ahead with coffee mornings, fetes, donations from members etc to raise the funds.

I've nothing against churches but really do think they should pay for their own property upkeep and keep the fund raising for helping the less fortunate.

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Oops. I guess you have a story to tell? Probably in the thread Ayatollah linked.

You are not alone in not understanding this topic. I believe the reason there has been no massive public outcry against this disgusting practice by the Church is that it's so difficult for people firstly to grasp the extent of the problem, and then to believe that the church is capable of such unchristian behaviour.

The excuse trotted out regularly is that it's not a problem and that people can get insurance against it. Let me tell you four facts so that you understand a bit more.

1. If your solicitor failed to inform you of Chancel Repair Liability and it is subsequently lodged against your land then Insurance may not be available or is very expensive.

2. Prior to 2003 Conveyancers were not negligent if they failed to mention Chancel Repair Liability. Believe me, as I have been through the Legal Ombudsman process.

3. I had a piece of land for which I paid £21,000 in Dec 2002. When CRL was lodged against it last year, it became worthless. I have documentary evidence from a local Estate Agent that he tried, but could not give it away for nothing. Now that's blighted.!

4. In many parishes there are hundreds of properties on which CRL can be raised, but some Churches have chosen to selectively target only certain people within the Parish. This is a form of Apartheid and is contemptible.

Edited by bumpy
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You are not alone in not understanding this topic. I believe the reason there has been no massive public outcry against this disgusting practice by the Church is that it's so difficult for people firstly to grasp the extent of the problem, and then to believe that the church is capable of such unchristian behaviour.

The excuse trotted out regularly is that it's not a problem and that people can get insurance against it. Let me tell you four facts so that you understand a bit more.

1. If your solicitor failed to inform you of Chancel Repair Liability and it is subsequently lodged against your land then Insurance may not be available or is very expensive.

2. Prior to 2003 Conveyancers were not negligent if they failed to mention Chancel Repair Liability. Believe me, as I have been through the Legal Ombudsman process.

3. I had a piece of land for which I paid £21,000 in Dec 2002. When CRL was lodged against it last year, it became worthless. I have documentary evidence from a local Estate Agent that he tried, but could not give it away for nothing. Now that's blighted.!

4. In many parishes there are hundreds of properties on which CRL can be raised, but some Churches have chosen to selectively target only certain people within the Parish. This is a form of Apartheid and is contemptible.

Pretty frightening really.It seems unreal that conveyancers didn't have to inform you before 2002.

Edited by Sancho Panza
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You are not alone in not understanding this topic.

But it is well known on HPC. And the mainstream meeja like the BBC have run quite a few stories over the years, including a couple who got stung for about a quarter of a million and lost their house in consequence.

1. If your solicitor failed to inform you of Chancel Repair Liability and it is subsequently lodged against your land then Insurance may not be available or is very expensive.

2. Prior to 2003 Conveyancers were not negligent if they failed to mention Chancel Repair Liability. Believe me, as I have been through the Legal Ombudsman process.

Lawyers in general are high-grade teflon. You shouldn't be surprised when they wriggle out of responsibility when something goes wrong.

3. I had a piece of land for which I paid £21,000 in Dec 2002. When CRL was lodged against it last year, it became worthless. I have documentary evidence from a local Estate Agent that he tried, but could not give it away for nothing. Now that's blighted.!

Presumably this doesn't prevent you using the land for the purpose for which you bought it? So not entirely worthless. Even if you're a philanthropist and bought it for some reason with no economic value to you, that should stand(?)

Not defending the law here. But I thought the government had finally fixed it so potential liability has to be registered and you can no longer have it sprung on you completely out-of-the-blue if it doesn't show up in a search?

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Presumably this doesn't prevent you using the land for the purpose for which you bought it? So not entirely worthless. Even if you're a philanthropist and bought it for some reason with no economic value to you, that should stand(?)

When you've paid £21k for something that you could have got for free then "worthless" is a pretty apt description.

A friend bought a small field because he, well, just fancied owning a small field. There wasn't any purpose intended for the land or speculative gain, he just fancied having it, colouring in that section of the old tithe map that it was shown on, and walking around it occasionally with friends having said "come and see my field". He never did anything with it or intended to.

It seemed a reasoanable purchase to me in that it was unlikely to lose much value so if he got stuck at some point then he could sell it. It's easy to spend another £21k on a car so for a vanity purchase this was slightly more sensible.

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It's amazing how many old laws are on the books and can be enforced. I'm surprised it's not be argued that if you are going to apply this law everything else must be enforced to the letter, I'm guessing at that point the govt would have to act.

However for the Church to be willing to bankrupt the local populace to extract money via extortion speaks volumes of those running the church. Fighting them in the courts won't work to beat the church you need to take them on with PR and write letters demanding reason from the Archbishops etc... In the modern era the law is clearly unfair, but the law is the law however this needs removing.

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When you've paid £21k for something that you could have got for free then "worthless" is a pretty apt description.

A friend bought a small field because he, well, just fancied owning a small field. There wasn't any purpose intended for the land or speculative gain, he just fancied having it, colouring in that section of the old tithe map that it was shown on, and walking around it occasionally with friends having said "come and see my field". He never did anything with it or intended to.

It seemed a reasoanable purchase to me in that it was unlikely to lose much value so if he got stuck at some point then he could sell it. It's easy to spend another £21k on a car so for a vanity purchase this was slightly more sensible.

Does he camp in it?

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But it is well known on HPC. And the mainstream meeja like the BBC have run quite a few stories over the years, including a couple who got stung for about a quarter of a million and lost their house in consequence.

But I thought the government had finally fixed it so potential liability has to be registered and you can no longer have it sprung on you completely out-of-the-blue if it doesn't show up in a search?

Can you not see the irony here?

First you say we should all know about it, and secondly you ask a question that anyone, with minimum knowledge of the topic, would know the answer to.

BTW was HPC running in 2002?

Edited by bumpy
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So can any church built before 1536 apply this law? Is there a distance limit?

I can see the village church from my front window.

The Church can claim on any land in its Parish meeting its criteria. This is known as Glebe land. Being in sight of the Church is a good indicator, but by no means the only one.

My plot was within 800 yds of the church, but still the solicitor failed to mention CRL.

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