ChurchThe Daily Mail has today published a worrying article that should send shivers down the spines of homeowners and conveyancing lawyers alike throughout England & Wales.

Under an ancient law dating back to Tudor times, some 247 churches have registered their rights against 12,276 homes which could mean that those homeowners could now be faced with bills running into thousands or tens of thousands of pounds to repair local churches, irrespective of their religion.

Based on those numbers, and with 5,000 parish churches yet to send out notices to homeowners, the number of homeowners affected could well be 250,000.

The Church of England pursued one family, the Wallbanks, to the edge of bankruptcy so this is a real concern for all homeowners who live near churches.

The right in question is to compel local homeowners, deemed as lay rectors, to contribute towards the costs of chancel repairs in local parish churches.

While chancel liability insurance can often be obtained, it appears that many conveyancing solicitors and licensed conveyancers (who are, of course, not qualified solicitors) may not have warned homeowners of these risks.

If that is so, and you are one of the 250,000 people potentially at risk, you may have a claim in negligence against your conveyancing solicitors or licensed conveyancers – and you may even be able to pursue the estate agents and the people who sold you your home in the first place if they knew about the problem and improperly concealed it from you. 

To learn how Griffin Law can help ease your worries over potential chancel repair liabilities, please contact justice@griffinlaw.co.uk or call us on 01732 525923.