The Right to Light

There is no absolute right to light. However, a right to light may be acquired, in common law, 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'.


The acceptable level of light in a home is taken to be where just over half the room is lit by natural light. This right most commonly applies to buildings and more specifically to the window or aperture through which the light enters.

Broadly speaking, the minimum standard is equivalent to the light from one candle, one foot away.

However, the law also recognises that some loss of light is acceptable and the fact that there is less light does not necessarily give a landowner a right to complain.

There is no right to light in an open space or in a garden unless it can be shown that the occupier gains their livelihood from its usage and that livelihood is being adversely affected.

There is also no right to a view. Trees that once framed a view and now obscure it do not legally constitute a nuisance.

For specific advice, with respect to the law, please seek qualified legal opinion.

For general advice please contact us.



Right to Light published the RICS