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It may come as an unholy shock to home buyers to learn that they could receive a surprise demand for money from their local parish church.

Dating back to the 13th Century, Chancel Repair Liability is a medieval law that entitles the parish council to ask for a contribution, or ‘tithe’ from homeowners for upkeep of the church, particularly if major works are needed, for example, to repair the roof.

While the government attempted to phase out the law (by requiring parish councils to register the liability on the title of the property by October 13 2013), the current position remains somewhat confusing for potential purchasers. Essentially, the absence of a notice on the title register does not necessarily mean you are free from chancel repair liability. If the pre-exchange searches carried out by your solicitor reveal that the property is in an area which is potentially subject to the liability, there is a risk that you could be landed with a large bill from the church.

To mitigate this, legal indemnity specialists Instant Indemnity offers Chancel Repair indemnity insurance that will protect you against these devilish demands. Get in touch with us for a quote by clicking here.

Contaminated land has long been a concern for residential buyers particularly as brown field sites are being increasingly used to build on these days. When discovered, it can involve crippling costs if clean-up is required and could lead to a significant loss in the property’s value.

Recognising the significance of the problem, the Law Society has recently issued a practice note on the subject, offering its guidance in regards to the steps that conveyancers should take in order to protect their clients.

Their guidance states that in all purchases, unless instructed otherwise, a CON29 search should be undertaken in order to reveal whether land has been designated by the local authority as contaminated. Although a negative response to the search might suggest there is no contamination, in reality it could also very easily mean that no conclusion has been reached about the site, or that it hasn’t yet been inspected.

The Law Society makes a number of suggestions if contamination is a potential issue, including one that suggests that solicitors should ‘consider and advise your clients on the appropriateness of obtaining an environmental insurance policy’.

At Instant Indemnity, you’ll be pleased to hear that we offer such a legal indemnity policy which we’re confident will offer a simple remedy to the problem of historical contamination.

The policy covers all costs involved in complying with a remediation notice issued by the local authority, or for carrying out works to prevent a notice being served. Our policy also covers any loss in market value of a property when sold in the future, following a claim.

Whether or not you’ve obtained an environmental report, and providing no official investigation or activity is underway, our cover is freely available and protects both the purchaser and lender.

Don’t let contaminated land spoil your clients’ properties so get in touch with us for a quote by clicking here.