Beneficial use refers to the right of a person to use a real or personal property for his own benefit and enjoyment. This is regardless whether the property is held or owned by another person. The benefits a person can enjoy from using the property can include light, air and water resources.
Also called beneficial enjoyment, beneficial use refers to a greater right than just a right to possess the land because it provides a person access to light, air and water covered within the land concerned. However, there can be issues regarding the enjoyment of these benefits if the property involved is modified by the owner.
One example is when a neighbor decides to add a second level to his bungalow house. The owner of the next house can complain that his beneficial use is being challenged particularly when the construction of the second level covers the sunlight or the great view they enjoy every day. When conflicts like this happen between two adjoining landowners, a court will be responsible for settling the issue.
An ideal way to prevent issues then is to first consult or ask permission from the adjacent neighbor should you decide to make changes to your property that will cause obstructions to the other homeowner’s access to light, views, air and water.
Beneficial use can also apply to trust properties. As an example, a beneficiary of a trust has beneficial use of the property involved. This is despite the fact that the legal title is still being held by a trustee or a different individual.