Is there light at the end of the tunnel?

houseIs your neighbour considering building an extension to their property that will cast a shadow over your home?  If so the prospect of claiming compensation or even a court order halting the work may become clearer in the future.

At present home owners in England and Wales do not enjoy an automatic right to natural light flooding into their homes.  Proving that a neighbour’s or developer’s building work has damaged or destroyed the amount of light enjoyed in a home and that the owner has acquired the legal right to preserve that light is a complicated and expensive exercise without any guarantee of success.  Unless there is a specific written right recorded in the title deeds to the property, establishing a successful case is very problematic.

The Law Commission has recently produced a report and draft Bill to reform the Law concerning light in properties, taking into account also the need to construct new homes, offices, schools and other buildings to meet light requirements.

The draft proposals suggest it will be easier to establish a right of light but also that it may be more difficult though to obtain an injunction forcing building work to stop.

Sadly, with the run up to the General Election in May 2015, it is now very unlikely the proposals will be considered by Parliament until much later in 2015.

Shaun Underhill would be pleased to advise on any property dispute matters.