Right of light - Dewar Hogan

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GET EXPERT ADVICE TODAY FROM THE ONLY LAW FIRM IN LONDON SPECIALISING EXCLUSIVELY IN ADVICE AND REPRESENTATION IN RELATION TO PROPERTY ISSUES AND DISPUTES

The effect that a right of light (‘ROL’) can have on the development of neighbouring land, from tower blocks to house extensions, can be serious. The law about ROLs is much more than an abstract subject of interest only to lawyers. It’s relevant to property owners, developers, lessees and others who are threatened with the loss of light. Dewar Hogan can advise on your legal rights, remedies and funding options.

Building

The effect that a right of light (‘ROL’) can have on the development of neighbouring land, from tower blocks to house extensions, can be serious. The law about ROLs is much more than an abstract subject of interest only to lawyers. It’s relevant to property owners, developers, lessees and others who are threatened with the loss of light. Dewar Hogan can advise on your legal rights, remedies and funding options.

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Contact our expert
team today. Call
020 7832 6410
or fill in the form
below.


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What is a ROL?

It’s an “easement” that is a legal right that one property enjoys over another (a right of way is another example). A ROL benefits one property and burdens another.

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Is there a ROL?

The existence of a right is crucial. If there is no right then there is no legal means of stopping an obstruction. The most common way of acquiring a right is long enjoyment or prescription.

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Who may have a ROL?

Anyone with a proprietary interest in a property: a freeholder, tenant and mortgagee.

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Infringement

The erection of a building, or part of a building, that obstructs the light enjoyed by a neighbouring building (which has the benefit of a ROL) would amount to an infringement.

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Injunctions and damages

The court can make an order (an injunction) that restrains development or even requires the offending building, or part of it, to be demolished. Applications should be made promptly and open requests for compensation should be avoided. The court may award damages instead of an injunction.

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Compensation/damages

If the court does not grant an injunction to restrain infringement it can award the injured party damages which could be substantial.

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Releasing a ROL

In order to avoid conflict and uncertainty many developers approach a neighbour with a ROL and offer to pay compensation and legal and surveyor’s costs in return for a release of the ROL. In any such negotiation the party with the ROL should take care not to jeopardise the potential to obtain an injunction.

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Light obstruction notices (‘LON’)

Depending on timing, the registration of a LON can prevent a ROL arising at all, or result in the loss of a ROL which has already arisen. If the registration is not cancelled or withdrawn voluntarily the person claiming the ROL must commence proceedings within a fixed period.

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Applications for planning permission

Objecting to an application for planning permission for a development that would interfere with the enjoyment of light may be helpful, and if there is no ROL it may be the only option.

Contact our expert
team today. Call
020 7832 6410
or fill in the form
below.


Find out all you need to know about rights of light by requesting a call back from a member of our friendly team today!

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