Loss of Light to Windows
In your home, just over half the room
should be lit by natural light.
Broadly speaking, the minimum standard is equivalent to the
light from one candle, one foot away.
So how do you know whether or not your right to light is
being affected, and if you think it is, what can you do about
A right to light may be acquired by 'anyone who has had
uninterrupted use of something over someone else's land for 20
years without consent, openly and without threat, and without
interruption of more than a year.'
A right to light is protected by law in England and
Wales under common law, adverse possession or by the
Prescription Act 1832.
If a new building or extension restrict the amount of
light coming in through a window and the level of light inside
goes below the so called 'accepted level', then this could
constitute an obstruction. Unless you have waived your rights
you are entitled to take legal action against the
Any kind of building or development can potentially block
the light coming into your home. For instance:
- A neighbour's new garden shed
- High garden walls
- Home Extensions
- A new house or commercial development.
If the building owner hasn't taken your right to light
into consideration (which is usually assessd at Planning
Permission stage), you may have a case for compensation or for
negotiating changes to the works or a combination of
House extensions are a very common cause of right to light
issues as homeowners may employ a local building firm to
extend their home without knowing the works could
affect the neighbours right to light.
One of the most common problems is where the neighbour
has a window to the side of their house to which the light is
blocked by a high wall of the extension.
Loss of light guide