Oliver found the perfect home -- a gorgeous condominium with a panoramic view of the Lokatee River. The view was really spectacular! In fact, Oliver spent his life savings and then some in order to buy the condominium. Much to Oliver's chagrin, a developer planned to building a 24-story building between Oliver's condominium and the river. The building would effectively block Oliver's view. Oliver was beside himself; not only would he lose his view, but the value of his property would certainly drop significantly. What are Oliver's rights?
Introduction and The General Rule
Many homeowners purchase property because of the view. In fact, a good view can add significantly to the value of a home. Generally speaking, however, a property owner has no right to a view. While another person may not deliberately or maliciously block a property owner's view, a structure of reasonable use may be built to the detriment of a property owner's view without legal recourse on the part of the property owner.
A property owner will have a legal right to a view only if such right is protected by a written agreement or law. Some examples of protective laws are as follows:
- a state law;
- a local ordinance; or
- a private subdivision covenant.
As an initial matter, a buyer interested in a property primarily because of its view should make a careful review of all applicable laws to determine if the view would be protected in the event of future construction. In that way, the property owner can make an informed determination as to whether he or she would like to make an offer to buy the property.
Copyright 2009 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.