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Where chancel repair searches are still required

8 January 2014

Overriding interests are legally binding against a landowner even if not apparent from an inspection of the title register or unregistered deeds. Largely these are of considerable historic origin and include interests such as “manorial” rights and rights for churches to claim a contribution towards chancel repair.

Manorial rights date back to the time of William the Conqueror, and include sporting rights, rights to hold fairs and markets, and rights to mine below-surface minerals. Chancel repair liability came to prominence in 2004 when the House of Lords upheld a liability against Mr and Mrs Wallbank, requiring them to contribute around £250,000 in repair expenses and costs towards the upkeep of the chancel of their parish church.

Both interests come into the limelight last year following the government’s decision to remove ‘overriding’ status from a number of interests ...

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