Over time, a property may gain a right for its owner to continue to receive natural daylight for the continued enjoyment of their property.

Rights to light or rights of light can be documented in the Title documents of properties but, in the absence of specific documentation, it will usually be the case that any building over 20 years old may have a right to natural daylight.

If a planned development may infringe the right to light, then a neighbour can prevent development through an injunction or be entitled to substantial damages.

The risks can be substantial and recent Court decisions have highlighted developers’ exposure, including a decision in HKRUK II (CHC) Ltd v Heaney the judge granted an injunction requiring the developer to remove two floors of the building, two years after construction was completed, with a tenant in situ. Although the case was settled out of court before it went to the Court of Appeal, it gives a good indication of the potential risks and costs developers could face.

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A Rights to Light claim can significantly reduce the profitability of a planned development and, in some cases, prevent development completely

Call or email us to learn more about Right to Light Insurance.