Right of Light Insurance for Developers and Landowners
What is Right of Light?
If a new building reduces the amount of light coming in through a neighbours window, and the level of light inside falls below the accepted level, then this constitutes an obstruction unless the owner of the affected window waivers their rights.
If the neighbour do not waiver their rights, they will be entitled to take legal action against the landowner, if a Rights of Light expert considers that the light is being reduced. Rights of Light insurance is particularly important in Cities where high rise buildings are prolific.
This could result in the neighbour seeking a court injunction to have the development reduced in height and size, or in some cases compensation may be paid.
What is Right of Light Insurance?
Right of Light Insurance Policies protect the developer or landowner from Rights of Light claims, where a neighbour claims they have had their amount of light reduced.
Why take out a Right of Light Insurance policy?
Right of Light indemnity Insurance will protect a developer from the risk of a possible future claim on a specific development in respect of the obstruction or reduction of a neighbour’s Rights of Light.
Recent cases such as HKRUK II v Heaney (2010) have highlighted the legal system’s increasing willingness to award an injunction against the developer rather than simply compensating the injured parties.
The costs of compensation/damages can be significant, often being based on up to 30% of the developer’s profit. However, this is still significantly less than the cost of an injunction requiring the demolition of the offending part of the development, possibly following completion and occupation.
Therefore, in order to allow a development to proceed without the delay or waiting for the conclusion of Rights of Light matters, a developer can take out an insurance policy to protect themselves from the range of potential costs and diminution in value associated with a legal claim and any consequences of its outcome.