EASEMENT OF LIGHT AND VIEW
Art. 667. No part-owner may, without the consent of the others, open through the party wall any window or aperture of any kind. (580)
PROVISION PERTAINS TO PROHIBITION TO MAKE AN OPENING THROUGH THE PARTY WALL
Art. 668. The period of prescription for the acquisition of an easement of light and view shall be counted:
(1) From the time of the opening of the window, if it is through a party wall; or
(2) From the time of the formal prohibition upon the proprietor of the adjoining land or tenement, if the window is through a wall on the dominant estate. (n)
WHEN EASEMENT OF LIGHT AND VIEW IS POSITIVE AND WHEN NEGATIVE
1. Positive—if the window is through a party wall. Therefore the period of prescription commences from the time the window is opened.
a. The mere opening of the window doesn’t create the easement; it is only when after a sufficient lapse of time
the window still remains open, the easement of light and view is created
2. Negative—if the window is through one’s own wall, that is, through a wall of the dominant estate
Art. 669. When the distances in Article 670 are not observed, the owner of a wall which is not party wall, adjoining a tenement or piece of land belonging to another, can make in it openings to admit light at the height of the ceiling joints or immediately under the ceiling, and of the size of thirty centimeters square, and, in every case, with an iron grating imbedded in the wall and with a wire screen.
Nevertheless, the owner of the tenement or property adjoining the wall in which the openings are made can close them should he acquire part-ownership thereof, if there be no stipulation to the contrary.
He can also obstruct them by constructing a building on his land or by raising a wall thereon contiguous to that having such openings, unless an easement of light has been acquired. (581a)
- The openings or windows referred to in this article are for light, not view, hence, the conditions or restrictions set for them
THE RESTRICTIONS THEMSELVES
1. Maximum size is 30 cm. square
2. There must be an iron grating imbedded in the wall
3. There must be a wire screen
4. The opening must be at the height of the ceiling joists or immediately under the ceiling
SANCTIONS IN CASE OF VIOLATIONS
1. He can obstruct the light
a. By constructing a higher building on his own land
b. Or by raising a blocking wall
2. If the wall becomes a party wall he can close the window, unless there is a stipulation to the contrary
Art. 670. No windows, apertures, balconies, or other similar projections which afford a direct view upon or towards an adjoining land or tenement can be made, without leaving a distance of two meters between the wall in which they are made and such contiguous property.
Neither can side or oblique views upon or towards such conterminous property be had, unless there be a distance of sixty centimeters.
The nonobservance of these distances does not give rise to prescription. (582a)
Art. 671. The distance referred to in the preceding article shall be measured in cases of direct views from the outer line of the wall when the openings do not project, from the outer line of the latter when they do, and in cases of oblique view from the dividing line between the two properties. (583)
RULES FOR REGULAR WINDOWS
1. Articles 670 and 671 deal with regular, full windows
2. Regular windows can be opened provided that the proper distances are followed
THE PROPER DISTANCES
1. For windows having direct views, observe at least 2 meters distance between the wall having the windows and the boundary line
2. For windows having side or oblique views, observe a distance of at least 50 centimeters between the boundary line and nearest edge of the window
BUILDING RIGHT ON THE BOUNDARY LINE
- It is permissible to build even up to the boundary line provided that no regular windows are opened
WHAT IS MEANT BY THE “NON-OBSERVANCE OF THESE DISTANCES DOESN’T GIVE RISE TO PRESCRIPTION”?
- The mere non-observance of these distances doesn’t give rise to prescription because this being a negative easement, a notarial prohibition is still required before the period of prescription will commence to run
RULE AS TO TERRACES
- Article 670 also applies to terraces if there are railings but not if there are no railings
Art. 672. The provisions of Article 670 are not applicable to buildings separated by a public way or alley, which is not less than three meters wide, subject to special regulations and local ordinances. (584a)
RULE WHEN THE BUILDINGS ARE SEPARATED BY A PUBLIC WAY OR ALLEY
- When buildings are separated by a public way or alley, there should be a minimum distance of 3 meters
Art. 673. Whenever by any title a right has been acquired to have direct views, balconies or belvederes overlooking an adjoining property, the owner of the servient estate cannot build thereon at less than a distance of three meters to be measured in the manner provided in Article 671. Any stipulation permitting distances less than those prescribed in Article 670 is void. (585a)
RULE WHEN A RIGHT HAS BEEN ACQUIRED TO HAVE DIRECT VIEWS
- This provision speaks of a true easement