Rights to Light - Natural light is something we all enjoy.
As buildings inevitably get higher and the available space for developments results in more densely developed sites, natural light is something that can be impacted. We all have a right to light, which means the buildings we occupy do too.
Rights to light in England and Wales are protected under common law, adverse possession or by the Prescription Act 1832. They apply to anyone who has had uninterrupted use of something over someone else’s land for 20 years without consent, openly and without interruption of more than a year. This includes light.
If a new building limits the amount of light coming in through a window and the level of light falls below certain levels, then this is considered an obstruction.
The good news is that you can insure against potential claims made against you in respect of rights to light. This can include legal costs, compensatory costs and remediation costs, for example.
If you are developing a new property, your exposure to possible rights to light claims (and in particular possible injunctions during construction) is something that you should look at potentially insuring.
Contact us and we will be happy to help you.