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Rights of Light Applications

When would an application of right of light arise

The owner of a building may acquire a prescriptive right to light across adjacent land if light is enjoyed for 20 years without interruption of a year or more. Under the Rights of Light Act 1959, to prevent the acquisition of such rights, the owner of the adjacent land may apply to the local authority in whose area the building is located for the registration of a notice that is equivalent to the obstruction of the light. The application to the local authority must be accompanied by a certificate from the Lands Tribunal certifying that adequate notice of the proposed nominal obstruction of light has been given to all persons who appear likely to be affected by it. Where appropriate the Tribunal may certify that the case is one of exceptional urgency so that a certificate may be registered immediately as a temporary notice.

Making a ‘right of light’ application

An application must be made on the prescribed form and be accompanied by two copies of the application to be made to the local authority. The Registrar then determines what notices are to be given to persons who appear to have an interest in the building. A temporary certificate will be issued if the Tribunal is satisfied that the case is one of exceptional urgency. The Tribunal’s definitive certificate is issued once it is satisfied that the notices which the Registrar determined should be given have been duly given.

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