Rights of Light

A right of light is an easement that allows landowners to enjoy natural light that passes over neighbouring land and enters their building through defined apertures such as windows, skylights and glass roofs. Such an easement is a private property right which can prevent neighbours from materially obstructing natural light.

However, a right of light:

  • is not a right to direct sunlight;
  • does not guarantee uninterrupted views;
  • does not protect a property from being overlooked nor does it safeguard privacy.

Once the right of light has been acquired (providing it has not been extinguished or otherwise lost), you can bring a claim for the interference with that right if a neighbouring development is obstructing the light to your property to the extent that it amounts to a nuisance.

How do you obtain rights of light?

There are several methods by which a property may acquire the right of light.

The law of prescription presumes that the right of light has been granted to those who have benefited from natural light through an aperture for more than 20 years without interruption and consent to claim to have acquired it. 

The right of light can also be acquired by express grant, or by an implied grant which can be granted in a transfer or a lease. Many modern buildings may also be capable of acquiring the right of light through the principle of transfer, where it may be possible to show coincidence between the new apertures and the historic ones. 

We can advise you on whether you have acquired the right of light, and provide expert legal advice on your remedies if that right has been interfered with.

Do I have a claim if my rights of light have been interfered with?

Once the right of light has been acquired (providing it has not been extinguished or otherwise lost), in order to bring a claim for the interference with the right to light you need to establish that:

  • A neighbouring development has obstructed the passage of natural light to your property; and
  • The reduction in light has caused substantial interference with your reasonable enjoyment of the property, to the extent that it amounts to a nuisance.

The amount of reduction in light will be based on lumens, a historical measurement for the illumination produced by a 1-foot candle over an area of one square foot. Whether a right of light case can be taken to court is based on the amount of light reduction by this measure, the area of the room, and the function of the space, an assessment for which a rights of light surveyor is needed.

If successful, you may have recourse to a variety of remedies:

  • An injunction to prevent, modify or demolish the development;
  • Damages to compensate you for your loss.

If you are seeking damages, we can help you find a reliable rights of light surveyor and assist you with formalising settlement discussions in the deed of release. If you are seeking an injunction, we can advise you upon the claim, prepare court proceedings and represent you in the litigation.

What do developers need to do?

Developers need to complete a risk assessment for the potential right of light claims before the development works begin to avoid:

  • ending up with an injunction ordering them to demolish the building (or part of it); or
  • being ordered to pay damages in lieu of an injunction.

The damages developers may have to pay could be considerable because they can be based on the percentage of their profit that would be generated by allowing them to retain the building that continues to interfere with the right of light. It is therefore imperative that developers seek expert advice from specialist surveyors and solicitors from the outset.

Developers’ options include:  

  • Preventing neighbours from obtaining rights of light by serving a light obstruction notice;
  • Negotiating formal releases from neighbours who already have acquired the right of light;
  • Taking out a special insurance policy for rights of light.

Additionally, for large developments in the public interest, developers can apply to the local planning authority to exercise their statutory power under section 203 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 to override rights of light. However, this is a last resort because it involves transferring ownership to the local planning authority.

We can prepare and serve a light obstruction notice on behalf of developers and assist with formalising settlement negotiations in the deed of release.  

We’re with you, every step of the way.

We’re here to guide you through the intricacies of litigation, resolve disputes efficiently, and help you achieve your outcome.


Our team is composed of dedicated and accomplished legal professionals, each bringing their unique expertise to the table.

Mustafa Kalaycı
Mustafa Kalaycı
The most honest, hardworking, and fully professional law firm I have encountered or worked with. Despite speaking different languages, they effectively understand you through their interpreters, find the best advisors to assist you, and acquire the necessary information. They create a friendly, family-like atmosphere with a straightforward approach, particularly in litigation expertise. My gratitude goes to all the staff involved, especially James Naylor and Jenny Cheung, for their dedication. Thanks for everything. Mustafa KALAYCI
I used Naylor Solicitors to help us purchase our freehold. It wasn't as straightforward as we'd hoped as the previous freeholder and his solicitors were difficult to deal with (not responding to calls or emails etc,) which delayed things. At one point the freeholder threatened to pull out of the sale despite previously agreeing. Our solicitor Adam was swift in his response, reminding the other side that we had a verbal agreement and that they were risking us taking legal action in that regard. He was then able to make sure the sale went through as agreed. I highly recommend Naylor Solicitors.
Simon Grey
Simon Grey
We found Naylors after talking to a few solicitors and they sounded the most knowledgeable. They helped us with a neighbour dispute. Dominika was fabulous throughout, and we were able to resolve a long standing issue. We would like to thank Dominika for all her help and support.
Simon Hill
Simon Hill
I was the main client contact of 60+ objectors on a breach of restrictive covenants case in Hertfordshire lasting several years. Naylors had been recommended by our QC and were superb throughout. We won the case convincingly. Would certainly recommend them.
Farook Paracha
Farook Paracha
Dedicated and professional firm with the Clients interest at the forefront. Clear and unambiguous advice for a complicated legal matter expanding over several months. Naylor’s agreed to represent us clients at a time when we had completely lost all hope from keeping our property safe from forfeiture. We couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Despite this we always felt confident and in control with the quality of advice and our legal cost. I would definitely recommend Naylor’s LLP to everyone I know. Special thanks to Dominika, Nikki & Jasper. Regards Farook Paracha
Frazer A-F
Frazer A-F
We have been dealing with with Dominika Libova at Naylors for the past year on a dispute, we have been really pleased with the service she has provided. Dominika was approachable, friendly, professional and knowledgable, supporting us every step of the way. Fees were agreed in advance at every stage and where honoured, even reducing fees on a couple of occasions to meet the estimates. I would highly recommend Dominika and the Naylor's team.
Yannick Schindler
Yannick Schindler
Dominika and her firm recently secured a good outcome for me in a property dispute and I highly recommend her. Whenever I spoke with Dominika on the phone, it was very clear to me that she had considered the matter very carefully and I was impressed with her attention to detail. I particularly valued her ability to respond very quickly and pragmatically to new, and sometimes unexpected, developments during litigation. She was also very skilled at developing strategies before and during litigation to achieve desired results while keeping costs low. Dominika made the impression of being a very adept and motivated litigator and throughout the entirety of the matter I was very, very happy to have her in my corner.
claire bryant
claire bryant
From start to end our experience of Naylor solicitors and Dominkia in particular, was faultless. They are a very professional firm. Dominika was incredibly knowledgeable in this specialist area we sought advice in (ROL), listened and acted upon our wishes, but also was very helpful in guiding us in taking the right course of action. Communication was always timely without any delay and she always made the time to explain matters that we needed extra clarification over. I highly recommend.