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Thomas Judge
Thomas Judge, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33011
Experience:  Over 25 years experience in law
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I have a boundary retaining wall supporting my land with a

Customer Question

I have a boundary retaining wall supporting my land with a fence on the top. The wall is approximately a metre high. The responsibility for the boundary is shown as being my neighbours (marked with a T on the plans). However, I believe this may not apply to retaining walls. The wall was built when the estate was built (around 1978) by the builder. It now has started to bow, by sliding off the foundation. I have, in cooperation with my neighbour, received 3 quotes, which he says he cannot in any way, afford. I have suggested we split the quotes between us, but he is still reluctant. I am not sure now of the way forward and would value any advice.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 2 years ago.
Do you believe that he has the money?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I am unsure if he has sufficient money as the total average quote is approx. £9,000 and he has said half would 'clear me out'.

Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 2 years ago.
The problem is that it is quite clearly his wall and any damage which the wall does will be damage to your property and as such he is liable. The options for you are to get a surveyor to confirm that there is either damage to your property or a risk of such damage - which would in theory allow you to bring a claim. The other less attractive option would be to either pay in full or come into an agreement where he either pays you back in instalments. Happy to discuss.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Does this mean that the responsibility for the boundary shown as a T on the plans as being my neighbours, this also covers the retaining wall as well as the fence?

Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 2 years ago.
Yes that is correct
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your response. Just to be clear, the retaining wall is supporting my land which is approx. one metre higher than my neighbours. If I decide to leave it as is and the wall eventually collapses (which could be a long time), I would then be able to insist my neighbour carries out all of the repairs at his expense, including any legal fees?

Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 2 years ago.
If you can show to the court that the failure of the wall was due to your neighbour - there is a risk obi that the court could consider that you are contributory liable - hence the merit in a surveyor's report who can categorically go on site and confirm that it is his liability. Court cases are all about evidence. I hope that helps. Please remember to rate positively - thanks
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Sorry about the delay in this response. I feel I have eventually received an inconclusive answer to my query. Your first answer stated that the retaining wall in question is my neighbours responsibility, but after more questions the eventual answer was that if the wall collapsed it would have to be proved that it was my neighbours fault.

The reason for the original question is that the wall is failing and to confirm the responsibility lies with my neighbour as shown on the plan.

Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 2 years ago.
The key with these things is always going to be can i prove this to the court? And this is why you will need evidence to support any view