13th October may have been seen by some as the end of an era for chancel liability, but the risk of some property owners facing a hefty repair bill remains.
Even though the deadline has passed, the Church can still choose to register a liability on the Land Registry title up until the point when a property is first sold. If they do so, the liability is ‘known’ to all, and can be enforced at any time in the future. The good news is that insurance is available for this known liability.
In addition, to ensure your client is fully protected, we also offer a comfort policy for the ‘potential’ risk covering the fact that the Church has up until the property changes hands to register a liability. In this instance, cover is provided by our potential liability policy.
Where a liability notice has already been registered, purchasers will inherit the liability as it remains enforceable indefinitely against the owners and successors in title. Despite this, we can still offer insurance protection to the buyer: likewise, we can also consider cover for unregistered properties where there is a known liability. Each enquiry will be individually assessed, and underwriting factors will include the extent to which it is affected by the liability, the location of the property, and where appropriate, the acreage that the property rests on.
As well as offering cover where there is a registered title which is yet to change hands, feedback from our customers suggests that the need for a potential liability comfort policy may still exist, and we can offer cover where:
there is an unregistered title, with no known liability
the owner is re-mortgaging the property
the property changes ownership for no consideration
the owner didn’t insure when they first purchased, and wants the reassurance of cover now.
The dust is yet to settle on the legislation, and what steps solicitors and conveyancers choose to take in the future regarding chancel repair liability remains to be seen. One thing that we do know for sure is that the liability has not disappeared, and while there is still the need, we will continue to provide cover for known and potential liabilities.
For more information on our Chancel Repair policies, including an indication of premium, contact us on 01603 617617 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.