Right to Light

Right to Light Insurance

At Building and Land Guarantees we regularly arrange this cover for our Property developing clients. A Rights to light policy provides protection for the Owner or Developer of a building, against claims from neighbours with windows, who believe that they have lost their right to an adequate level of light as a consequence of the building development. 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 and can create a legal liability for the building owner.

The development can be a new building or an extension to an existing building.

As buildings inevitably get taller, 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 as well.

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 for more than a year. This definition includes light.

It is possible to insure against potential claims made against you in respect of rights to light by impacted neighbours. The policy can protect for defence against claims, and can extend to include Third party losses and the associated costs of this, both in terms of rectifying the building to ensure compliance and the subsequent loss in Gross Developed Value as a consequence of the original development being “cut-back” to comply with legal requirements against neighbours loss of light. The policy cover is flexible, but for example can include cover for legal costs, injunction costs, compensatory costs, and remediation costs.

If you are developing a new property, your exposure to possible rights to light claims (in particular possible injunctions during construction) is something that you consider insuring.

Who should be interested; 
• Commercial Property Developers;
• Property Owners;
• Associated professionals – Project Managers, Architects, Structural Engineers;
• Funders;
• Institutional Investors;
• Pension Funds;
• Receivers and Administrators

Contact one of our specialists today, we will be happy to help you.

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