Thursday, 2 October 2014

October 13th and Chancel Repair Liability part 2


I have spoken to several people recently who believe my analysis that the October 13th 2013 is correct and there was no change in the law pre and post that date with regards to the transfer of the liability from one owner to another owner. This means that people can still buy land with the liability despite the advice that can be read on virtually every other website who cover this subject.

Lets hope both landowners and Solicitors have insurance to cover any mistakes.


This means that one way to change the situation is to define what Chancel repair liability by law is and with it change either the 1932 Chancel Act or  land registration law. The other way is to simply compensate all PCC's who have churches who have Chancel repair liability and to get rid of the liability from all Lay Rectors as proposed by Lord Avebury. 

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Chancel repair liability is Personal and Several.

In one day I have had 4 conversations about the nature of chancel repair liability with regards to enclosure awards.  There is a common mistake that the liability is joint this is absolutely not the  case and this was decided by the Wickhambrook verses Croxford case and ratified by the Chivers Verses Airministry cases that the liability is several and personal and definitely not joint in correction to virtually all websites who discuss it.

What does this mean?

Well it means several things  one is that if the liability is partially extinguished on one plot of land by compounding or by another way then it probably continues in the remaining land (if it were a joint liability where it would probably be extinguished). To what extent it continues is a moot point and never been settled but there has been a practice that if 10 acres of an enclosure award of 100 acres is extinguished or compounded  then 90% of the liability is still present. The deed to get rid of the liability has to be quite clear and I have heard of a case where it was unclear and effectively removed all the liability from all the land although the intention was only to remove the liability from one plot.

Secondly it means that a landowner could be faced with the entire bill and then in turn has to sue another land owner for the share of any liability and not expect the PCC to do it for him or to expect the other landowners to be jointly sued for the money by the PCC.

Where these cases correctly decided? 

This a moot point but they are how the law is understood at the moment.


Beware Chancel repair liability since it  is Personal and Several and it is not a joint liability.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Confirmation from Gorleston of the withdrawal of chancel repair liability

I have found this letter on the net

Quote 'as a result of our investigations we have become aware that the above property was incorrectly registered with Chancel Repair Liability for which we offer our sincere apologies".
Those affected in this way will have their liability removed from their property, and will receive a confirmation of this direct from the Land Registry soon. Anyone who purchased a Certificate of Exemption from the church will be refunded with a cheque shortly.
Others who remain affected by this can expect the matter to be resolved by the end of the year, when the church hopes the process to remove the registration of the liability for all property owners.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Compounding Chancel Repair update

Minor update

I have discovered that some parishes have used a multiplier of 20 years coming up with a compounding figure. The issue of partial compounding over enclosure land is uncertain because it has never been tested in court whether this is correct but it has been the practice for many years.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Compounding Chancel Repair Liability

I am frequently asked questions about compounding chancel repair liability or paying the PCC off to remove the liability under the 1923 Ecclesiastical Dilapidations Measure.
What is in the public domain is the Church Commissioners  default calculation  to compound the liability but prior to reaching there it seems to make it clear that if a  PCC and the landowner(s) come to a reasonable agreement there would be no need for it to be sent to the church commissioners.  As long as the Diocesan Board of Finance was happy the setting of a figure could come about by negotiation between all the parties.

How Much Money?

The method of calculation is complicated and  dependent on the state of the chancel but there is one figure that is in the public domain and that is Aston Cantlow at the cost of £36,500 for an entire chancel in good condition. From what I have read this figure was arrived at by being sent to the Church Commissioners and so it is reasonable to assume that this could be near the compounding figure for an average chancel in good condition. I have heard of two other figures being bandied around for other chancels one of £40,000 and another for a small chancel with a compounding figure of £25,000.
The vast majority of landowners will be responsible for part of chancel either by a fair division of the liability over enclosure land or by the apportionment by the 1936 tithe act. Although some writers say a partial removal  is  not possible it is actually quite possible but needs to be done through the official channels.

The Power of the PCC

One concerning issue is that although the power resides in the diocesan authority which is probably the Diocesan Board of Finance the PCC could end up misusing it's power and position. I have to hope and pray that each PCC that has chosen to go the way of compounding has acted fairly, with integrity and entered into a spirit of mediation with the relevant landowners.