Rights of Light

Common law easement

A right of light is simply a type of easement i.e. a legal right to use neighbouring land(s) for a specified purpose, in this case to receive adequate light. Although simple in theory, these matters are frequently complex in practice and therefore it is critical to have timely expert advice.

Rights of Light disputes mainly arise when one party is seeking to build on their own land and in doing so would interfere with an easement enjoyed by a neighbouring owner. Depending on the extent of the interference, an affected party may be entitled to monetary damages (compensation) or injunctive relief.

Particularly in dense urban environments it is perhaps no surprise that Rights of Light can be a significant potential constraint to development if the risk is not professionally managed, particularly if dealing with multiple claims.

GVA Schatunowski Brooks has one of the most experienced teams in the country and were also the first to have a national presence, meaning we have dealt with many high profile and complex cases in every region of England and Wales.

We have had involvement with several of the leading Rights of Light cases, including:

  • Midtown Ltd v City of London Real Property Co Ltd [2005] and
  • Tamares (Vincent Square) Limited v Fairpoint Properties (Vincent Square) Limited [2006/7].

We have over 40 years’ experience successfully assisting our clients with:

  • Pro-active estate management;
  • Pre-acquisition site appraisals;
  • Indicative 3D CAD building envelopes/ site massing optimisation studies;
  • Developer/building owner strategic advice;
  • Adjoining owners advice;
  • Undertaking detailed CAD technical studies;
  • Design advice to mitigate potential risks;
  • Negotiating release of potential constraints and draft agreements;
  • Assisting serving Light Obstruction Notices (LONs);
  • Acting as Expert Witness (RICS Accredited),
  • Advising on the use of statutory powers;
  • Assisting with placing Rights of Light insurance cover.

We are also in regular contact with specialist lawyers, barristers and other experts to ensure that we are at the forefront of current practice.