UKTC Archive

RE: displacement of a retaining boundary wall - liability

Subject: RE: displacement of a retaining boundary wall - liability
From: Jon Heuch
Date: Jul 11 2019 09:37:15
Philip

 

You're deep into legal territory but also that of boundary surveyors who
will give you better practical advice on this type of issue.

 

You will find via Google a variety of surveyors who deal with boundary
issues and provide the basics online, but as Jerry has pointed out the owner
of the retaining wall is responsible for supporting the neighbour's land (if
the wall is owned by the lower landowner). We used to own an old abandoned
sand quarry as a local nature reserve with a long steep sand cliff in which
sandmartins nested. There was a bungalow at the top....and the sand couldn't
be relied on to stay still. We had a safe distance between the cliff the
adjacent property but our responsibility was clear. I'm glad we've passed
the site to the local wildlife trust!

 

Here is the detail from one surveyor:

 

a landowner who owns a retaining wall that supports his neighbour's higher
land is subject to an implied (unless it is expressly stated in a deed)
easement and owes a duty of support to his neighbour's land;

a landowner who owns a retaining wall that supports his own land is under a
general duty of care to maintain the wall in such a condition that his land
is prevented from collapsing onto his neighbour's lower land.

 

& of course the advice continues to say that this sort of issue typically
arises when the wall has fallen into disrepair...

 

Jon 

 




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