201604.27

Home Owners Win £30,000 ‘Right to Light’ Payout

House 4As a home owner, you enjoy a ‘right to light’ and, if your neighbour interferes with it, a specialist lawyer can help you. In one striking case, a couple who objected to an extension which put part of their home in the shade won more than £30,000 in damages.

Couple A had planning consent to build an extension to the rear of their £1.65 million suburban home. Their neighbours, couple B, were on cordial terms with them and had not formally resisted the grant of that consent for fear of causing offence. However, they had made their feelings known and repeatedly urged couple A to modify their plans.

Couple A took the view that they were within their rights and built the extension, which reduced the light in part of couple B’s home. The latter took legal action and a judge found in their favour, awarding them £31,449 in damages. Couple A were also ordered to pay 90% of their neighbours’ six-figure legal costs.

Couple A, who had wrongly assumed that the planning consent entitled them to do as they did, were aware of their neighbours’ objections and had underplayed the impact that the works would have on their right to light. The facts of the case emerged as couple A unsuccessfully sought permission to challenge the costs order before the Court of Appeal.

Scott & Anr v Aimiuwu & Anr. Case Number: A2/2015/0806

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