For whom the bell tolls — the end of chancel repair liability?

Overriding interests have been a hot topic recently, due to the fact that as of midnight on 12 October 2013 their overriding status was lost. It is a common misconception though that as a result of this change of status we need no longer concern ourselves with such matters.

While it is true to say that in the absence of registration by the beneficiary such rights can be lost, this does not mean that we can allow overriding interests to become a distant memory as, in certain circumstances, such matters could still prove problematic. This article therefore examines the current position in relation to such matters.

Overriding interests are a diverse class of third-party interests, including such matters as rights to mines and minerals and chancel repair liability, which bind a purchaser of land even though they are not noted on the title entries of registered land or in the deeds of unregistered land. Such overriding interests bind the owner of the land even where their existence is unknown and they could be financially valuable to their beneficiary as they can grant the right to take minerals from the burdened land or permit the recovery of the costs of upkeep of a church…

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