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PropertyWednesday 7 December 2022

Consents or Agreements Preventing the Acquisition of Rights to Light by Prescription and the Position of Successors in Title

Sir Paul Morgan has written an article for the Conveyancer which has now been published in [2022] Conveyancer 365-381. The article is entitled “Consents or Agreements Preventing the Acquisition of Rights to Light by Prescription and the Position of Successors in Title”.

In the article, Sir Paul refers to the ease with which a building can acquire a right to light by prescription. He also refers to the considerable uncertainty, delay and, above all, cost incurred in dealing with disputes as to rights to light. He suggests that owners of land with development potential would be well advised to give their consent or agreement to the enjoyment of light to prevent a right being acquired over their land by prescription. The article examines what is required for an effective consent or agreement of this kind and then considers the position of successors in title in relation to both the development land and the adjoining land. Oddly, the position of successors in title has not been much considered in the decided cases and, when it has been, the consideration has not been altogether convincing. Although it has often been assumed that the rights and the obligations under consents and agreements to the enjoyment of light pass to successors without difficulty, this article questions whether that really is the case. The article contains a detailed analysis of the relevant principles.

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