13 February 2023 by Darren Coleran

A right to light?

A Right of Light is a form of easement that gives a landowner the right to receive light onto their land. The landowner has no natural right to light at common law – instead, this right is acquired by statute, by express or implied grant, or (most commonly) by prescription i.e. “where the… use of light to and for any dwelling house … shall have been actually enjoyed for a full period of 20 years without interruption …”

Any physical prevention of light must be in place before the start of the 20th year – if an obstruction is built, remains in place and is not challenged for one year, a right of light can be defeated. The landowner must therefore ensure that their representatives are aware of the dates on which the loss of light first began.

Owners of adjoining land who unlawfully interfere with that light can be restrained from doing so and/or they can be ordered to pay damages. The landowner, if a settlement cannot be negotiated with the offending party, must issue a Court claim in defence of their rights of light before the ‘year’ closes. One possible remedy upon suffering a loss of light is seeking an injunction from Court against the offending party. Such injunctions are either prohibitory (preventing a party from doing something), or mandatory (compelling a party to do something, such as amend existing developments).

The more common remedy is for the landowner to seek damages in lieu of an injunction. In either case, the landowner seeking Court intervention must file their claim with Court no later than one-year from the date of the initial obstruction of light. The fee payable will depend on the estimated value of the landowner’s claim.

If you require assistance or would like to talk to one of our expert Solicitors, then please do not hesitate to contact our Real Estate Disputes team.

3 February 2023 by Olivia Pisapia

Suspicious Minds: Priscilla Presley challenges Lisa Marie’s Will

Lisa Marie Presley (‘Lisa Marie’), daughter of rock ‘n’ roll legend, Elvis Presley, died on the 12th of January 2023 […]

10 February 2023 by Hadley Long

Apple’s new Legacy Contact feature

In February 2019, Ian Russell, the father of 14-year-old Molly Russell, was denied access to her iPhone and social media […]

Signup To Our Weekly e-News

"*" indicates required fields

We’ll never share your details with any third party in line with our privacy policy.