A Shrewsbury firm of solicitors is advising property buyers across the region about impending changes to controversial legislation which will provide transparency to individuals buying a new home within a church parish.
Nicola Pugh, a Chartered Legal Executive at Shropshire-based PCB Solicitors, is reminding prospective property buyers about changes to the Chancel Repair Liability legislation, due to come into force on 13th October, which will see property buyers become liable to pay for repairs of their parish church chancels only if they have had notice of the repair liability before they bought the property.
Previously, the legislation stated that community members must pay for the upkeep of part of the church around the altar, with a parochial church council (PCC) often responsible for all other repairs. A notable case in recent years saw a couple required to sell their farm in order to fund Chancel Repair Liability, highlighting the importance of prospective property purchasers being aware of all financial obligations prior to the sale completion in order to avoid unexpected costs.
Nicola Pugh explained: “The reforms are obviously good news for property buyers as they will no longer be faced with surprise repair bills. The new legislation will make it mandatory for Chancel Repair Liability to be registered on all affected properties, ensuring prospective buyers are fully informed from the outset.
“However, it is worth bearing in mind that even after 13th October, if a property is on land which is not yet registered but subject to potential Chancel Repair Liability, the land will remain subject to the potential liability up until the day the sale of the property completes. If this is the case, home owners have two options - either to voluntarily register the property at the Land Registry, or seek Chancel Repair Liability insurance.
“I’d urge anyone concerned about their new house being affected by this change to get in touch, either on 01694 723818, or via email email@example.com. A search can be carried out to identify an area’s potential liability, and if you are at risk, the necessary steps can be taken.”
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