A right to light is the ability to enjoy the natural light that passes over land belonging to another, such as a neighbouring property, through the windows, sky lights and glass roofs in or on a property – often referred to as apertures.
There is no automatic right to light but, if established, this right entitles a person to receive sufficient natural light through a property’s apertures. These rights may be acquired by way of long use and enjoyment, but this enjoyment must be uninterrupted and continual.
It is important to note that rights of light do not protect an existing view enjoyed by a property. They also do not entitle a land owner to the same amount of light as that which was enjoyed before the relevant obstruction occurred.
Therefore, in determining the amount of light considered reasonable, it will depend on what is sufficient for the “ordinary use” of the affected property.
How to protect your right to light
It is also possible to lose a right to light that has been acquired by prescription if no steps are taken to challenge an obstruction within a particular period of time, or to protect such a right. Therefore, unless active steps are taken to challenge an obstruction promptly, it may be that any rights (if proven to be in existence) can be lost. Rights of light are not absolute and can be lost if not protected.
If a right of light is established, the owner of the land causing the interference may be liable to pay compensation for the infringement.
How can Pinney Talfourd help?
Right to light cases require specialist, fast action. A right to light is known as an easement, and can be granted in conveyancing documents or by prescription. Pinney Talfourd have experienced and specialist solicitors who can deal with your claim and are committed to working with you to ensure you achieve the very best possible outcome.
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