South African law does not recognise an inherent right to the existing view from a property. A beautiful view is considered a mere incidental advantage of property ownership and not an actionable right. Views can be protected by registering a servitude, restrictive title conditions or through contractual provisions. The wording of such a servitude or restrictive condition should be clear and as wide as possible to prohibit obstruction by buildings or plants.
Neighbours often use the provisions of the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act 103 of 1977 to object against building plans relating to buildings that would obstruct the views of their property. In terms of section 7(1)(b)(ii) of the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act 103 of 1977, a municipality is compelled to reject building plans if the value of a neighbouring property would diminish because of the specific nature or appearance of the proposed building.
However, case law has established that building plans do not have to be rejected even if the proposed buildings would obstruct a neighbour’s view from his/her property.
Know your rights! For advice or assistance contact our professional team on Tel 041 5019800.