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Chancel Repair Liability

Chancel Repair Liability is an obligation on a landowner to repair or contribute to the repair of the chancel of a medieval parish church. 

Why is insurance important?

Until 13 October 2013 chancel repair liability will continue to bind new and existing owners of property alike as an overriding interest. Chancel repair liability is a matter of concern for both the legal profession and landowners. The insurance option should always be a consideration because:

  • The Church of England is actively looking to register any liability against a particular property by October 2013.
  • In the majority of cases chancel repair liability is not yet registered.
  • An estimated one-third of medieval churches still have chancel repair liability associated with them.
  • Current landowners will continue to be liable after the transitional period.
  • The House of Lords has ruled that chancel repair liability is an enforceable right.
  • A parochial church council is under no obligation to pursue all liable parties for the cost of repairs and may choose to pursue one liable party for the total sum required.
  • Liability can exceed the value of a property.
  • Land affected by chancel repair liability need not be situated close to a church building.
  • The liability is not confined to rural areas.
  • Searches are time-consuming and inconclusive as records are inaccurate, boundaries have changed, and ancient parishes may differ to modern ones.
  • Once a liability has been identified it may have an adverse effect on the value of a property.

Stewart Title provides a range of chancel repair products

Stewart Title realises that every land transaction is different and has a range of chancel repair products to suit all requirements.

Standard Defective Title Policy

Our standard defective title policy provides cover where an investigation has been undertaken and it is found that a liability may exist. The policy is in perpetuity and will protect the insured its, mortgagees and any successors in title.

No Search Block Policy

Stewart Title also provides a low cost no search policy on a block basis for residential properties, commercial properties, purchases or remortgages, where no chancel repair search needs to be carried out.

Our block policies save time and are cost effective. All our policies offer peace of mind at a reasonable cost and ensure that a party with an interest in a property is protected against any potential chancel repair liability. The process of obtaining chancel repair liability cover is simple and straightforward and our block policies provide immediate cover.


Individual quotations will be given for cover under our standard defective title policy. Premiums for block and master policies will be predetermined with you on the basis that the policy conditions can be met.