4 November 2009 by Nicki Iliffe

Chancel tax liability

The best known case of chancel repair liability has finally been resolved with the auction of the property in question.

Mr and Mrs Wallbank inherited Glebe Farm in 1982. Little did they know when they inherited the property, Glebe Farm had a responsibility to maintain a 13th Century Church in Aston Cantlow in Warwickshire. In 1990 the Church invoked a Medieval covenant to make Mr and Mrs Wallbank pay for the repairs to the Church.

Mr and Mrs Wallbank then fought an 18 year battle not to have to pay for this liability costing them in excess of £250,000.00 and which ultimately was not successful for them. The unfortunate outcome of their litigation was that not only were they responsible for the repairs but they then had their additional legal costs to pay. The property also had a future liability for chancel tax repairs which made it virtually unsaleable.

The Wallbanks had to reach a further agreement with the Church (and of course pay a further substantial sum of money) to release the property from any future liability. Then in order to pay all their debts they had to auction the property.

In October this year the property was finally sold at auction for £850,000.00 and completion of the purchase will take place in November.

As can be seen this has been a costly exercise and chancel tax liability should not be taken lightly. When we do the conveyancing at Bolt Burdon we always check the liability for this and recommend that insurance is taken out in the event that a liability arises.

2 October 2009 by

If only

With Land Securities (a major commercial property investment company) recently reporting that the number of its retail tenants in administration doubled between September 2008 and the start of this year, what issues should you consider when you don't have the wherewithall to take a hit of this nature.

23 October 2009 by Yezdan Izzet

Breaking the lease tenants beware

Taking into account the current economic climate, it is no surprise that commercial tenants are looking for ways in which to bring their leases to an end especially where it may not be an option to sell.

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