Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
What evidence if any do you have that the wall was built by a present or previous owner of the hotel building please?
You mention they accept responsibility for the wall. Have they done so verbally or in some written confirmation?
They had said it verbally on the weekend but now they say it all down to us having the Ivy on our wall
Thanks. Was the wall in need of maintenance in your opinion prior to it blowing down? Was the ivy causing structural issues (either known before or now evidence subsequent to the wall blowing down)?
I`m not sure about that,we don`t think there has been any inspections of the wall that we know of.
Thanks. Finally is the wall also a retaining wall or just a boundary wall?
It is a boundary wall
Thanks. English law is hopelessly deficient when it comes to responsibility and ownership of boundaries. The position with most properties, as opposed to newbuild properties is that unless either party can prove who built a wall is that neither party can lay claim to it as their own and except where a binding covenant can be shown to exist which is rare in second-hand properties, neither party can enforce the other to maintain a boundary structure. if the wall is expressed to be a party structure in your deeds it would belong to both of you and your neighbour but this would be unusual in older properties.
If you have evidence that the wall belongs to your neighbours property as opposed to you because you or a previous owner of your property built it or because your neighbour accepts responsibility for it (ideally in some written form - e.g. email) then your neighbour may be responsible for the wall subject as follows...
Where you can show responsibility lies with your neighbour as above, you then need to show that the neighbour has been negligent in some manner in maintaining the wall and this is the reason that it likely fell over. If it feel just due to the wind and there is no such negligence then it would be difficult to establish a claim.
If you can show the above, if they can counter that the ivy was a contributory factor as to the reason the wall blew over, then this may mitigate any amount you may be able to claim from them.
Before it was a Hotle, it was a Fire Station and the wall was built when the Station was built.
Accordingly there are a series of potential obstacles to proving liability by the hotel owner though these obstacles are not necessarily insurmountable - it depends upon what evidence you may have of their potential failure to keep the wall in repair.
In terms of practicalities, the first step is to try to seek an acknowledgement that the wall was theirs or their responsibility. Ensure you have reported the issue to your insurer. Ideally from there you will have some evidence that the wall was poorly maintained and be able to show that the ivy was not causing any significant structural issues. If you can show all of this you may have the basis for a claim.
Even where you cannot show this, whilst you may have to make a claim on your insurance in respect of any damage caused to your land and the cost of clear up, there is no obligation on you to build a new wall, and the hotel, being a hotel may be more motivate than you if you sit it out to reconstruct the same though it depends of course on the type of hotel it is.
If you have evidence that the wall was built by the fire station this ticks at least one of the above boxes establishing ownership of the wall.
Is there anything above I can clarify for you any further?
Many Than`k to you Joshua you have been a big help.
A pleasure. If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do no hesitate to let me know.
Marilyn & Mick