Wheeldon v Burrows (1879)

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Wheeldon v Burrows (1879) LR 12 Ch D 31

Property Law – Easement – Right of way – Grant – Common owner conveying freehold

Facts:

A workshop and adjacent piece of land owned by Wheeldon was put up for sale. The land was sold separately. The workshop/shed was sold to another person but it was found that the workshop had minimal amounts of light and was only lit by several small windows which overlooked the field. The new owner of the field blocked out the light that illuminated the workshop with a wall.

Issues:

Whether there was a right or grant over the land for light to enter the workshop.

Held:

It was usual for implied grants and easements over tenements to be passed down or to continue over the land. Usually, they were granted as part of the enjoyment of the land and there are no corresponding implications in favour of the grantor. However, when Wheeldon conveyed the land, he had not reserved a right of access of light to the windows, no such right passed to Burrows (the purchaser of the workshop). It did not prohibit or stipulate that any purchaser of the land could build and obstruct the windows to the workshop as he pleased. It was determined that there was no implied right that was granted before or on the sale of the land and nothing specified in the conveyance. All those continuous and apparent easements over part of any land which were necessary to the enjoyment of that part of the land were passed on as part of the grant. This may have applied if both parts of the land had been sold together, but as the two bits of land were sold separately, no right passed on to the purchaser of the workshop. The appeal was dismissed.

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