Metropolitan Housing Trust Limited v. RMC FH Co Limited [2017] EWHC 2609 (Ch) the High Court has shed some light on the knotty issue of rights to light.

In this case the tenant of a long lease wanted to release a right to light it enjoyed over neighbouring land so that the neighbouring land in question could be developed out. No doubt the tenant would have been handsomely compensated by the developer.

The landlord objected to this release and won.

What is quite interesting in this case is that the right to light in this particular case came into existence AFTER the grant of the long lease in question. 

The landlord won based on the  anti-encroachment clause:

"Not to give permission for any new window light opening doorway path passage drain or other encroachment to be made nor to permit any easement to be acquired upon or against the demised premises which might be or grow to the damage annoyance or inconvenience of the Landlord and in case any such encroachment or easement shall be made or attempted to be made or acquired or attempted to be acquired to give immediate notice in writing to the Landlord and at the request and cost of the Landlord to adopt such means as may be reasonably required or deemed proper for preventing the making of such encroachment or the acquisition of such easement"

I suspect this case will be further considered on appeal on or in parallel cases.

The takeaway for now is that if you are wanting to grant or obtain a release of rights, you should have a tripartite agreement including the landlord. Not to do so opens you up to litigation.