Rights to light and other easements

Rights to light and other easements

"[Nick] understands his clients' needs, as well as understanding the technical and practical realities of the law."

Chambers UK, 2014

We work with developers - and their architects and surveyors - to assess the merits of claims made by neighbouring property owners that their rights to light will be infringed as a consequence of a development.

We are happy to advise at any stage of the development, but early identification of potential issues is key. This helps mitigate the risk of abortive design or construction works and/or minimise the level of compensation payments made to neighbouring owners to relinquish their rights of light.

We also advise clients as to whether they have acquired a right to light, or indeed any other type of easement, by prescription.

How we can help you

  • Portfolio audits and advising on rights of light strategies.
  • Preparation, service and registration of Light Obstruction Notices as a means of preventing the acquisition of a legal right to light (this can also be used as a mechanism to identify rights to light which already exist). The Legal 500 - The Clients Guide to Law Firms
  • Advice and facilitation of negotiations with neighbouring owners to agree terms of a release of their rights.
  • Drafting deeds of release of rights to light and/or other easements, following agreement of terms of settlement with neighbouring owners to relinquish such rights.
  • Whilst we work to encourage a resolution to any claim, in the event it is necessary to take court action or defend injunctive proceedings issued against you, we will guide you through the court process and work hard to fight your case with force and tenacity.

Work highlights

  • Acting in the leading rights to light case of HXRUK II (CHC) Limited v Heaney [2010]
  • Advising a developer as to the adequacy of right to light indemnity insurance in relation to a significant mixed use development in south-west London
  • Advising a developer in relation to the construction of office premises in central London requiring the negotiation of multiple right to light agreements
  • Acting for the owner of garage premises in successfully defending a claim for possession of part of a neighbouring site used for parking, and in counterclaiming for a declaration that our client had acquired by prescription a right to park on the land.