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Chancel Repair Liability

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Insurance & Life Assurance
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radoslaffradoslaff Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Insurance & Life Assurance
Hi there, I'm in a process of buying my first house (at quite a late stage of my life though) and there is something that upsets me (among other things). My solicitors are trying to force me to buy a Chancel Repair Liability Policy saying that this was a required by the lender (NatWest). I have several concerns here:
1. I have the Mortgage Offer from NatWest in front of me and it requires a building insurance but there is nothing about chancel repairs there.
2. The solicitors say this policy is going to cover me in case my parish church (if I had any) ever claims against me. Still they don't know whether I'm within a church parish or not and don't care.
3. On their letter accompanying the policy that I need to sign there is a very interesting line saying "Please do not contact the local churches or any third parties regarding the risk as it may invalidate this policy", and the policy itself states that such a contact is certainly going to invalidate it.


I completely fail to understand this policy and the necessity of it at all. And here I'm not talking about the money, because it's £15.00 for the next 100 years but I'm questioning the need for it and that they force me to take it. any advice is appreciated. Thanks.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

Replies

  • Ebe_ScroogeEbe_Scrooge Forumite
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    It is "a thing", as they say. One article here : http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-26373756


    Wikipedia also has an article on it ( though I'm aware that Wikipedia shouldn't always be taken as Gospel truth ).


    Whether your mortgage lender would absolutely insist on it, and whether you could be forced to take out the insurance, I'm not sure. But for the sake of 15 quid it might not be a bad idea for peace of mind - however unlikely it is that the liability may actually be invoked.
    I may not know much about art, but I know what I like.
  • Weighty1Weighty1 Forumite
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    It sounds like the property is a leaseholder property and the whereabouts of the freeholder is unknown. Often churches parishes were the freeholders but records get lost over the years. This policy prevents the freeholder suddenly turning up saying "you owe us 20-years worth of ground rent and £2,000 for the maintenance of the church. Hand it over......."

    For the sake of £15 it is probably a good idea to have it.
  • agrinnallagrinnall
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    It's nothing to do with leasehold. I decided not to take out such a policy when I bought my current house because once a change of owner is registered the potential liability dies (due to a fairly recent law change), so the risk really only existed between exchange and completion. However, I wasn't buying with a mortgage, so if NatWest insist on it you don't have much option - although I would get them to confirm the requirement rather than take the solicitor's word for it.
  • Weighty1Weighty1 Forumite
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    You're right! I've gotten myself confused as the property I purchased last year was a leasehold were the freeholders whereabouts was unknown and I needed to buy indemnity insurance against that and also chancel repair indemnity and I presumed they were one and the same. :/
  • SystemSystem Forumite
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    radoslaff wrote: »
    there is a very interesting line saying "Please do not contact the local churches or any third parties regarding the risk as it may invalidate this policy", and the policy itself states that such a contact is certainly going to invalidate it.


    That's because there is a very small risk that this could be a potential liability. Insurance covers that risk, which is very cheap because the risk is very low. If you made investigations to discover whether there really was a risk, it would no longer be a risk but a certainty. If it did not exist, you would not need insurance. If you found that it did, it would be uninsurable.
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