Chancel Check

The CML Legal Advisory Committee has confirmed that:

  • Chancel repair liability is an issue of concern.
  • That it remains the responsibility of the conveyancer to identify where there is potential risk in the first instance.
  • Where it is identified as a risk it should be insured in accordance with the conveyancers’ interpretation of the instructions detailed in Part II of the CML Handbook.
  • Chancel repair liability is a real and continuing problem with a direct financial impact on the title held by a Homebuyer. Current chancel repair searches are costly, often inconclusive and, where a liability is discovered, exacerbate the problem by dramatically increasing the cost of insurance.

ChancelCheck® is the only service which combines historical parish boundary data, modern Geographical Information System (GIS) mapping techniques and information derived from the relevant Inland Revenue Indices held by the National Archive. ChancelCheck® accurately establishes whether or not a property is within a parish that still retains the potential to charge for the cost of repairs to the church chancel as recorded within the relevant Inland Revenue Indices held by the National Archive and in accordance with their Guidance Notes.

ChancelCheck® issues either a Report stating that there is a potential liability within the parish or a Certificate confirming that there is no risk identified for that parish within the National Archive records. Currently conveyancers operate under a number of common misconceptions about which properties may be at potential risk of chancel repair liability, such as:

  • That a property must be in a rural location.
  • That the liability is in respect of repair costs for the whole church (the chancel is normally less than 20% of the total footprint)
  • That the property has to be adjacent or close by a church.  

The fact is that any property within a parish can be at risk.

Unsure whether you need a ChancelCheck report? View the CRL Flowchart