Establishing and maintaining rights of light
Establishing and maintaining rights of light

The following Property Disputes practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Establishing and maintaining rights of light
  • Does a right to light exist?
  • Grant
  • Prescription
  • Prescription Act 1832
  • Has the right to light been abandoned or otherwise extinguished?
  • Agreement
  • Interruption
  • Permanent abandonment
  • Unity of ownership
  • More...

Establishing and maintaining rights of light

Does a right to light exist?

An owner of land has no natural right to light at common law. Accordingly, it must be established that the right has been obtained by grant or prescription.


A right to light may be granted in the following ways:

  1. express grant: the express grant of a legal easement can be achieved by deed (including a lease). For information on the registration requirements, see Checklist: Checklist for the creation and registration of easements

  2. implied grant: where a document does not expressly grant a right, but uses terms consistent with the existence of an easement, or one is implied by the intended use of the property, there may well have been an implied grant of a right to light

  3. grant under the rule in Wheeldon v Burrows: on the sale or lease of part of land there may be an automatic grant to the purchaser of all those easements which are necessary for the reasonable enjoyment of the property sold

Section 62 of the Law of Property Act 1925 (LPA 1925) provides for the implied grant of all rights and easements in all conveyances of land, even where not expressly mentioned. This includes easements in the course of acquisition.


There are three ways that a right of light can be acquired by prescription:

  1. under the Prescription Act 1832

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