A right of light is a right of a property to receive light through a window or some other opening. Examples of possible interference with rights of light include the development of a low-level property so that it obstructs the light to an adjoining property. Rights of light can be acquired in a number of ways but prescription probably remains the most common one, in other words enjoyment of light for 20 years at least. Injunction and damages are the usual remedies available for breach of a right of light.
Our team has significant experience of advising on rights of light issues, including advice regarding whether a right exists; if it does, who can avail the benefit of the same; bringing and defending proceedings for an injunction and damages (including acting in two of the leading cases reported in recent years); registering as well as objecting to the registration of light obstruction notices; and giving advice about local authorities’ powers to override a right of light. We can also recommend experienced rights of light surveyors.
A common feature observed about developments taking place currently in the Tricity is that developers approach neighbouring owners and occupiers with offers to settle potential claims. They also offer compensation for infringement; a developer usually offers to pay the adjoining owners’ legal and surveying costs. We have regularly dealt with such transactions for negotiating and completing deeds of release of rights to light.