PROPERTY JOURNAL

Input sought on updated Rights of light standard

With a new edition of RICS' Rights of light professional standard in preparation, members are encouraged to contribute to the recently opened consultation

Author:

  • Adam Bell

04 August 2023

Abstract of morning light and shadow on tiled wall through window blind shutter

RICS is consulting on the draft third edition of its Rights of light professional standard, which is being revised to reflect recent developments in legislation, technology and case law.

The latest version builds on the industry-standard second edition of March 2016, and follows publication of the Right to light consumer guide in April 2022.

The professional standard deals solely with easements known as rights of light and outlines current best practice for surveyors in this field. It is applicable only in England and Wales.

Best practice can reduce instance and impact of disputes

Rights of light can have a significant impact on residential and commercial development by injunction to prevent the development, payment of compensation, changing of design or even the demolition of non-compliant structures.

The third edition is designed to help surveyors:

  • provide accurate and comprehensible information to clients with as little room for misunderstanding as practicable
  • ensure that, in the event of a dispute over rights of light, the facts are set out in a manner that helps the parties and their legal advisers
  • safeguard the interests of owners, investors, insurers and others who rely on a chartered surveyor's report and evaluation of rights of light, whether assessing the viability of a potential development or the negative impacts of a proposal by others.

In addition to including new examples of case law and a legal rights of light protocol, the forthcoming edition contains in-depth information on geospatial and measured surveys, insurance, compensation, and the rights of light RICS membership route.

The standard's development is being overseen by the RICS rights of light expert working group, comprising a specialist team of lawyers, experts and chartered surveyors from the building surveying, geospatial surveying, development and rural disciplines. It brings together professionals and experts working in the field of neighbour disputes, and is a subgroup of the RICS boundary and party walls practice panel.

Related article

Caution urged when taking on boundary disputes

Read more

Members invited to offer insight

RICS invites all those who wish to provide feedback on the draft Rights of light professional standard to engage with the open consultation and make interested colleagues aware of the opportunity as well. 

The consultation closes on Monday 21 August.

Adam Bell is residential property editor at RICS Property Journal
Contact Adam: Email | LinkedIn

Related competencies include: Legal/regulatory practice

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