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wingrovebuyer, Senior Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 737
Experience:  Bachelor of Laws (Honours); PG Diploma in Law; Member of ALA; 9 years' experience
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My brother has just been served a Chancel liability letter,

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My brother has just been served a Chancel liability letter, from the land registry. The local vicar! is priest in charge and there is currently no bishop. The PCC voted it through without full knowledge of their options.  The church warden's, PCC members new this was comming and took out insurance.  Those who dont attend the church or have the parish newsletter had no idea.   Does the vicar as priest in charge have the right to this??

wingrovebuyer : Hello. I'm afraid that chancel repair liability is something which affects property in over 5,000 parishes. When the catholic church was "reformed" by Henry VIII, much of its lands we're taken off it. These lands provided the church's income before then, and so those who took the land were obliged to contribute to the repair of the church. This liability continues to this day, even thought the land has been parcelled up and developed. Each landowner who owns affected land is liable. In most parishes the right to enforce the liability lies with the PCC. Until 13 October 2013, these liabilities affected the land whether or not owners knew about them. To continue to affect the land after that date, PCC's had to put unilateral notices on the titles to affected land. That's why your brother has received a letter. To challenge the notice, your brother must complete Form UN4 and send it to Land Registry. This will mean the PCC must present its evidence. Your brother should then take legal advice on whether or not the evidence is sufficient. If it is, he might be stuck with the liability,and this could affect any future sale.
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