Rights of Light in Ireland: Legal Update, Valuations and Insurance Solutions Seminar
6th February 2020
Rights of light and potential infringement are becoming an important issue for developers, funders, purchasers, tenants and their advisors in Ireland, particularly as building heights increase.
|DUAL Asset teamed up with Hollis last month to host a seminar in Dublin offering insights into proactively addressing the issues of rights of light, including the measurement/valuations and insurance solutions that allow contact with neighbouring owners.
Top lessons learnt from the seminar:
- Increasing awareness of rights of light and willingness to take infringement actions in the backdrop of Ireland breaking the cycle of low-density buildings and relaxing its height restrictions, particularly in Dublin and Cork.
- Uncertainty around the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009 (as amended) – have you registered/protected your right?
- English case law is persuasive, but will Irish courts follow suit?
- Interference with rights of light: injunction or damages? The primary remedy would be an injunction.
- Mitigation of impacts can be designed into the development, if early input from rights of light surveyors is utilised.
- Where injuries cannot be avoided, these can be accurately assessed using specialist models to define potential risks and cost.
- Cost liabilities highlighted can be accounted for at the outset and factored into development appraisals and/or residual land values.
- Rights of light reports can be used to inform strategy, including negotiations and insurance enquiries.
- Developer certainty – proceed with comfort knowing your financial exposure is capped.
- Developers can start construction promptly knowing the insurers and surveyors are dealing with any Right of Light assertions in the background.
- Insurers can work with developers when deciding an appropriate strategy (i.e. wait and see or approach based).
With the increasing awareness of rights of light in Ireland, it may be time to factor in some additional risk management. A right of light is a private, legally enforceable easement, which can cause delays and even prevent developments if left unresolved.
DUAL Asset can provide bespoke rights of light insurance policies, which cover the legal costs of resolving claims, settlements or damages, demolition or reinstatement, and any loss in value of the land. Policies are highly specialised and tailored to suit the developer and to allow construction to commence promptly.
For more information on ROL insurance solutions, please contact Jessica Ollerhead or Paul McGennis