We have no control over the clouds that block sunlight, but we do have some control over the natural light that comes through our windows. We are entitled to at least some natural light in our homes – Right to Light. One thing we all appreciate is the importance of sunlight. It makes a huge difference to mental health, state of mind and even your physical health. The sun is one of the very few sources we have of vitamin D which is essential for bone health.
If you are a property owner, you have the legal right to access natural sunlight. Your property windows are the main access you have to natural light. But this right you have could, in a sense, interfere with the plans of a land owner or property developer. Unless they have your consent, their construction plans need your consent, if the building is going to compromise your Right to Light. You could seek court intervention or legal compensation.
If your property’s natural light is obstructed by a new development, a court could order the construction to stop or at least for plans to change. Measures could be taken, so that the natural light you’re entitled to isn’t affected. If proposed building works have affected, or could affect, your Right to Light, you need to seek legal advice immediately. Remember that construction plans should include your consent, if construction will obstruct light into your property.
There are common misconceptions about who has the legal right to act. If a new building development affects a property’s natural light, the property owner is the one who has the right to seek legal or court intervention. Leaseholders and tenants can seek legal advice, but they cannot seek a court order or compensation. Also, the property owner can give the property developer consent, but leaseholders and tenants do not have the right to give consent.
If you’re a tenant or leaseholder, we welcome your concerns and can certainly advice you. But ultimately, it is the property owner‘s legal right to seek court intervention or compensation. SG
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