Right to Light Solicitors

Home / IBB Real Estate / Right to Light

Right to Light Solicitors

The right to light is a concept that is often poorly understood, leading to a lot of potential for conflict. Both property owners and developers need to be clear about their rights and those of any surrounding properties, which is why working with expert right to light solicitors is so essential.

At IBB Law, we regularly advise developers and property owners on right to light issues. We can clearly establish whether a right to light exists, helping to avoid potential problems, as well as giving clients a clear understanding of where they stand if a dispute has arisen.

With decades of specialist expertise across our team, we can give confidence that you know your position and your options for finding workable solutions to right to light disputes. In most cases, this can be achieved quickly and cost-effectively through private negotiation and other non-confrontational approaches, however, we have the strong litigation skills needed to robustly represent you if more formal proceedings are required.

Complete support for right to light issues

At IBB Law, our property litigation experts can assist with all right to light issues, including:

  • Advice on the right to light
  • Defending your right to light
  • Responding to a right to light claim
  • Injunctions for rights to light

Why choose IBB Law for right to light advice?

IBB Law’s experts in commercial property disputes can offer you:

  • Extensive specific expertise with right to light disputes
  • Independent accreditation, with our Real Estate Litigation expertise being ranked by leading client guide Chambers & Partners, with our broader Real Estate services also being ranked. The team is also ranked by the Legal 500 for Real Estate > Property Litigation
  • Various of our Real Estate team hold professional memberships, including with the Property Litigation Association (PLA), reflecting the high standards of our lawyers

Discuss your case with our right to light solicitors

Our right to light solicitors are available in Uxbridge, Beaconsfield, Reading and Ascot.

You can call one of our legal offices directly or fill in the enquiry form on our contact page and one of our legal team will call you.

How our lawyers can support you with right to light issues

Advice on the right to light

If you believe your right to light has been infringed upon or you are concerned that a neighbour may claim you have infringed upon their right to light, it is essential to get specialist advice. This is particularly important for property developers, who could find themselves on the receiving end of multiple claims if they do not take the right steps to avoid this.

Our experts can advise on your right to light and that of any neighbouring properties as required. We can give confidence that your interests are protected and minimise the risk of costly disputes that can drag on for years.

Defending your right to light

Knowing if your right to light has been infringed can be complicated. Firstly, you will need to establish whether a right to light existed, then you will need to show that a new building or extension on a neighbour’s land has breached that right. It is strongly recommended to get expert help to assess your case and take the necessary action.

At IBB Law, our right to light lawyers can confidently determine whether you have the right to light. We then work with specialist surveyors so that we can definitively prove whether this right has been infringed upon.

Once we have the facts, we can contact the other party or parties involved and seek an amicable solution. In many cases, we are able to quickly and cost-effectively resolve right to light disputes without the need for court proceedings. Where such an outcome is not possible, we can robustly represent you during formal litigation to secure the best available outcome.

Responding to a right to light claim

When a right to light claim is raised by a neighbour, it is important to respond promptly and strategically. Ignoring the claim can be a very costly mistake as, in the worst-case scenario, a court could order that any new development you are building is demolished and you might be required to pay substantial damages.

Our team works with individual property owners and developers to find workable solutions to right to light disputes. We can determine if a right to light exists and whether your project does infringe upon that right.

Based on this, we can then support you to respond appropriately, for example, negotiating a payment to the affected neighbour or neighbours in exchange for surrendering their right to light or representing you in court proceedings if a suitable resolution cannot be agreed amicably.

Injunctions for rights to light

Where a court determines that the right to light has been infringed upon, it can order the defendant to pay damages to the claimant for the loss and/or issue an injunction requiring the defendant to demolish or modify their extension or new development.

Whether an injunction can be sought will depend on the circumstances. It may be harder to secure an injunction after a new development has been completed, but it is certainly still possible, depending on the circumstances.

Our right to light solicitors can advise property owners on the potential to have a new development modified or demolished to protect their right to light. We can also support owners and developers who are seeking to avoid an injunction or challenge one that has been issued.

Common questions about the right to light

“Right to light” refers to a legal right that the owner of a property has to receive natural light through openings such as windows in their building. It is important to understand that the right to light only applies to buildings – you cannot automatically acquire a right to light in a garden, although such a right can potentially be created through written agreement with the relevant neighbour or neighbours.

Right to light is a form of ‘easement’ i.e. a legal right that a piece of land benefits from in relation to another piece of land owned by a third party. In the case of right to light, this means that a property owner has the right to benefit from natural light passing through a neighbour’s land.

The Rights of Light Act 1959 is the key piece of legislation covering the right to light. However, the right to light predates this as a legal concept. One of the key changes introduced by the Rights of Light Act was to provide landowners with a simple means to potentially prevent a right to light from being created by a neighbour through serving a notice on them and registering a local land charge.

The basic legal principle is that a property will acquire the right to light if it receives the benefit of the light for a minimum of 20 years without interruption.


Knowing whether your property has a right to light is not always straightforward. In the first instance, it is worth checking the property deeds to see if an express right to light has been recorded. If this is not the case, you will need to establish whether an implied right to light exists.

Determining if an implied right exists will usually rely on showing that a particular window or other opening has enjoyed the benefit of natural light for an uninterrupted period of 20 years.

Given the legal complexities involved, it is highly recommended to consult a specialist right to light solicitor for advice and support.

When planning an extension or other development that may block light to a neighbouring property, it is important to know whether a right to light exists.

A solicitor can check the neighbouring property’s title deeds for you, but it is also a good idea to contact your neighbours and let them know about the proposed works. This can help to establish any potential problems early on and avoid conflict further down the line. It can also help to maintain positive relations with your neighbours.

The 50:50 rule is a method for assessing whether the right to light has been affected. Where the percentage of a room that receives adequate light has been reduced to less than 50% of what it enjoyed prior to a new obstruction on neighbouring land (based on a working plan 850mm above the floor level), then the right to light has been infringed.

Determining whether the right to light has been infringed is a job for a specialist rights to light surveyor, which is something on which your solicitor can advise.

When planning a new extension or other development, the right to light 45-degree rule provides a guide for how the right to light of neighbouring properties might be affected. The rule works by assuming that light to a window or other opening on a neighbouring building would be impacted if the new building passed an imaginary line at a 45-degree angle from that opening.

Discuss your case with our right to light lawyers

Our right to light lawyers are available in Uxbridge, Beaconsfield, Reading and Ascot.

You can call one of our legal offices directly or fill in the enquiry form on our contact page and one of our legal team will call you.


    Yes, I want to proceedNo, show me links to relevant information

    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.