How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask wingrovebuyer Your Own Question
wingrovebuyer, Senior Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 737
Experience:  Bachelor of Laws (Honours); PG Diploma in Law; Member of ALA; 9 years' experience
Type Your Property Law Question Here...
wingrovebuyer is online now

I have owned a house (built as a single house in 1885 with

This answer was rated:

I have owned a house (built as a single house in 1885 with a retaining wall around the large garden - that separated it from a much lower lying nursery on the South and East sides) since 1986. Since the 1920's the remaining nursery has been built upon but my house is still separated from the newer properties because my garden ground level in some parts is 15' higher than the surrounding property level's and still retained on the East and South by the wall's which are original. Who owns them?


In explanation, on the North side my cottage fronts onto the pavement. On the West side my neighbours are on the same level as myself and have boundary fences. On the East side my neighbours garden slopes so that over the 180' length of my garden his drops quickly from par to 15' lower than mine at the bottom. My two Southern Neighbours are in a different street and over the 85' width of my garden the slope across their gardens runs between 12' to 17' lower than the top of the retaining wall holding my garden in. Thanks,Customer/em>

Hello. I'm not sure exactly what your question is. Could you clarify please? Do you want to know who owns the boundary walls around your property?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I should have made myself clearer, that is exactly what I want to know. My wife passed away recently and I now hold both our shares of the house in trust for our children.

My problem is that I have residual brain damage caused by two brain haemhorrages in 1994 as the direct result of the stress caused by aXXXXXbattle and have a total intolerance for court actions.


At 68 I suppose I am feeling my mortality and just want to have everything tidied up for them.

However, I had a bad experience recently with someone who purchased my last house - in 1970 - off the person I had sold it to in 1986. I had retained a plot of land between this house and a neighbouring farm.but 5 years ago when I was in the process of applying for planning permission the couple who had purchased my ex house had "adopted" the plot as their own and I began receiving demands from a company of solicitors seeking costs of £3,000.00 on behalf of their client. Very reluctantly I ceded the land to them to cover their costs.


So, with my present home I need to be certain that everything is straightforward. I understand from the two neighbours whose property touches mine on the Western side that their hedge / fence on the Eastern side is their boundary and on the Southern side the "lower" retaining wall is the boundary for #8 with # XXXXX ( the adjoining cottage to mine) having a fenced boundary running East /West halfway down my garden. The woman we bought our cottage from had lived in it herself and owned both cottages so kept the major part of the garden for herself. I have a builders invoice in my deeds dated in the 50's for repairs to the retaining Eastern wall. Regards,Customer

Thank you for this extra information - sorry to hear about your wife. Are you registering the property at Land Registry yourself? If so, do you have the conveyance of the property to you and your wife? If the property was part of a larger holding / portfolio, this may stipulate the boundary responsibilities, and therefore who owns what. Of course, unless the deeds make reference to such matters, Land Registry won't state on the title register or plan what boundaries you own. Their plan only shows the legal boundaries, not physical boundaries.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Dear Wingrovebuyer. the Solicitors - presently in the person of Ms Haynes - who have handled my housing business for over 30 years, ( I met one of the partners then when he was duck shooting on a smallholding we owned) and they keep our deeds in their safe.


Unfortunately they don't have any backbone, don't handle litigation or anything other than conveyancing & willwriting. On the previous land issue I ended up at the C.A.B at the R.C.J seeking assistance.


The Mr Anthony Fielding at the Land Registry initially suggested that I asked my neighbour's to the East (1) and South (2) for letters stating that they have no claim over the walls. ( he named `Lymore'*, the house that only has a 1 metre wide section - in 30 metres - as someone to ask. To my way of thinking if you invite a relative stranger to become deeply involved with your very important financial affairs you are inviting spurios claims.


This morning I received a letter indicating that Mr Fielding could preferably conduct a site meeting, which I cannot imagine will be confidential, perhaps we should hold it in the market square so everyone can give their opinion - or at the L.R office.

This, after writing a letter expressing my concerns before 8 February after which the application would be completed.


Although not beneficial to my wellbeing I refuse to be steamrollered over by Civil Servants - especially those in a legal capacity - and would rather go for the throat. I told Ms Haines in our last telephone to relay to Mr Feilding that if my proposal wasn't acceptable He should cancel my application, return my fee and I woult take up the issue either through his Minister or a Petition to the president of the European Union. I think that you will now see my position. Perhaps you can draft a letter for me to The Land Registry putting my position in legal-speak. The bite in the tail for the L.R would be that as they set the rules I could follow suit and should any of my neghbours on the East/South put up their homes for sale I could claim that Mr Fielding / LR had informed me that there was a boundary dispute over the retaining wall.

* `Lymore' isn't on either the 1885 or 1926 O.S maps, the owner has the same name as the local Conservation Officer and apparently chaired the planning meeting that granted him, under the guise of a "garage extension" permission to erect a huge timberframed glass porch on the front of the existing double garage, which he admitted at the meeting he was using as occasional acommodation. His is the garden that has a metre of my wall in it and perhaps 15 metres of a much lower wall along the Southern edge of my Eastern neighbours garden. regardsCustomer/p>

I'm sorry, I'm not allowed to draft anything through this site - it is for guidance only. Sorry! I need to know if the original conveyance of your property says anything about the boundary features - they usually confirm who is responsible for their maintenance, and thereby who owns them.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Relist: I still need help.
The circumstances have changed somewhat. History: the data is taken from several books by the local historian and O.S details.
I own a house that was built pre 1862 in a rural setting on a peninsular of level land overlooking naturals sloping valleys on its East and at its southern end a sharp drop into a nursery.(the site of my house and the nursery were owned by different landowners). Both the high and low ground was blighted by surface water coming down Eastern slopes. At the very Southern end of the Nursery the waters continued South to finally end in the River. My house has a 69m retaining wall running North /South on its Eastern side and a right handed 30m long retaining wall- complete with victorian clay weep drain - on its East / West axis. My house was semi isolated until 1902 when six individual plots on the Nursey had been built upon. These houses were some 4m lower than my walled garden. Only two of them were within 30m of the retaining wall at the bottom of my garden. In 1926 there was a detached house built on the plot to the East of mine. From the front of our house to the bottom point of the rspective gardens there is a drop in his garden, compared to mine of 4m.
In 1966 another house was built on the ex nursey land that was directly below that of my Eastern neighbour. So, mine in 1862. 40 years later another two houses, Rosedale and 16. then The Gables 66 years later and finally Lymore 104 years after mine. The problem I have is. when my solicitor - non contentious business only - submitted my application for registration recently after my wife passed away, Mr Fielding at the LR said that I should get, at my own expense a deed from the people in these houses saying that they didn't own the retaining walls around my garden. That would open a real debate in the neighbourhood under the banner Free Land, come and grab what you can! The question, how do I handle this? Are the LR allowed to imply in writing that I am a thief? there is a receipt in my deeds for a builder carrying out maintenance on the walls in the 50's but that is all. I asked the solicitor to carry out another search but just received a copy of a letter from the LR setting a date for registration of the 13th Feb. The LR have copies of all of the docs I have referred to along with photo details of salient points on the perimeter.
Hello. Do you still want me to assist or would you prefer to use someone else? You opted out without continuing with me, hence my question. Thanks.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Dear Wingrovebuyer please continue. Given the attitude of the LR this is only going to be settled by a straight rebuff based upon statute. Here we are 150 years after my house was built on a peninsular overlooking lower land and a man at the bottom of my neighbours garden , not mine, whose house was built 50 years ago, should be asked to agree that he doesn't have a claim over my property. That is ludicrous.


If necessary I can send the LR letter and extracts from the O.S maps


Thanks - please do send me a copy of the LR letter.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Dear Wingrrovebuyer, I don't have a scanner at the moment but can get the LR letter to you in the morning. What are the mechanics of doing that? ThanksCustomer

Sorry - I'm not sure how one sends an attachment. Our access is not set up in that way I'm afraid, but I know it can be done. There is likely an option to send an attachment. If you get stuck, I can refer it to customer service so they can assist. Sorry, that sounds really daft, but we're just sent the questions, at home or work, and we don't know the ins and outs of the technology!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Relist: No answer yet.
All the points that require addressing are contained in the text of my question and the requested e-mail - containing the attached letter from the Land registry sent to Wingrovebuyer this morning
Sorry - I have received no email. Indeed, I'm not sure how you could email it when you don't have my email address. I will opt out.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I am sorry that you think that I would lie to you. After spending a couple of hours on it and having been unable to make sense of the electronic instructions for attachments I phoned the helpline who instructed me to e-mail it to [email protected] which I did at 12.41, it went through.

At 13.37 I received a mail from [email protected] which said


Hello thanks for your mail we have sent your files to your professional, and you can post any comments to them directly on your question page where they can see them. Thank you for using the site!

Lori, Pearl professionals Moderator Ticket details

Ticket ID : VIU-335-76110 Department: Experts


At 14.07 I received a request for me to complete a survey on the helpfulness of the Phillipines based call centre sent by LLC atXXXXX San Francisco, CA 94129



I will try to assist. Is your question about who owns the substantial retaining wall?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you. this all began with a letter from the LR that was waiting for me on 21 January when I returned from a trip to Australia that began on 04/12/12 As my wife had passed away recently I needed to transfer all of her estate into my own name to keep up the Trust we had set up.


I therefore needed to "first register" the house, garden and retaining walls on my East and South sides - built pre 1862 - that keeps our flat plot and the neghbours to our West from being undercut by the water that historically comes down the sloping road to the East and then at its lowest point diverts down the sloping gardens of two houses to the East. The situation is that at the South eastern corner of my retaining wall (69m long) there is a ground difference of 4m in my favour between the gardens.


The land at the bottom of my garden was allways a nursery until two houses were built in 1902. It Too was considerably lower than mine as it had its own Eastern slope runoff. At this lower area the water sources combined and went down a valley heading South to the River.



I don't know if you were passed a copy of this letter with my file as it was e-mailed to Wingrovebuyer yesterday along with the 1862 and 1855 maps The letter is from Anthony Fielding at the Land registry and dated 23/01/13


Title number SL220014


Dear Sirs


Unfortunately the evidence is insufficient for the Land Registry to be in a position to make a note on the register. We will require written comfirmation from the proprieters adjoining the Eastern and Southern boundaries that the situation regarding the wall is as suggested in your letters. The adjoining properties are The Gables, Julian Road, Lymore cottage, Livesey Road, Rosedale, Livesey Road and 16 St Julians Avenue.


The ideal form of comfirmation would be a deed (with plan) signed by all parties but signed letters (with plans) by all the neighbours confirming the same would be acceptable. In this case notices might be served. Consideration would then be given to noting such evidence on the register


Please note that the first registration will be completed on Friday 8 February 2013 in the absence of the above imformation




It would appear to me that Mr Fielding has ignored our confrontational system of Justice and just wants to cut out all the dross of having a standard complainant v respondant situation overseen by a Judge/ Arbiter and prefers to be a French examining Magistrate.

While fantisysing like that what is the point in presenting any evidence for the phantom complainants when you can have the defendant destroy his finances and credibility by paying to have his neighbours take what they want.


The Gables, a detached house appeared in the Valley to my East in 1926, some 64 years after my house was first indicated on a map


Lymore Cottage - which is a detached house with a large detached cottage made from a two storey garage with a huge Oak and glass porch - which borders the end of the Gables garden which is several metres longer than mine - appeared circa 1970, some 108 years after mine was built. Rosedale (which is in St Julians Avenue) and number 16 St Julians Avenue were built in 1898 / 1902.

Number 16 has its own boundary fence built a foot inside their garden and thus away from the retaining wall. In 1986 when I moved into my house I ran a wooden fence along the top of the whole of of my Southern wall primarily to Rosedale and my lower neighbours from burglars who traditionally used my garden to gain access to the houses in St Julians Avenue . It didn't hurt that we moved in with 16 St Bernards kenneled in a stable at the bottom of the garden.


I would welcome your suggestions as with my brain damage I might tend to go for the complaint approach.




If not The LR letter reads verbatim.- having crossed over with some OS maps/ photographs sent by my solicitor, who doesn't do contentious matters.


e- mailed

Thanks for the background. I dont have the letter emailed.

I simply need to know briefly

  1. if the wall ownership is the issue and
  2. what the neighbours stance is and
  3. what your stance is.
  4. Are HMLR including or excluding the wall from your registration?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

1/ Yes, the wall ownership is the issue to the HMLR

2/ I have not had any discussions over the matter in the 27 years I have been here, with the neighbours.

3/ My stance is that (a) having the original builder cart in and erect 250 tons of brick and stone to form the retaining wall wasn't done lightly.(b) as each of the other properties came over a 100 year period I doubt very much if the erection of the walls was a thing planned for the future with them in mind that is except to prevent my house / garden and The Manse from being undercut by surface water and sliding to the East and South. (c) all of the mentioned houses were built on individual plots and in different styles. 4/ they seem to want to exclude the walls from my registration.


ps: I wouldn't think of walking into Maudes house ( Rosedale ) she being in her 80s and infirm and saying, here Maude, do you remember when we spoke the other day about you selling up and moving into a bungalow? I have received a letter from a Mr Fielding at the LR who says that you could have a claim on part of our property. Would you dig out your deeds and show me so that I can take a copy. By the way, even if they show that there is no claim perhaps Mr Fielding might not take our word for it in which case should any of the four claimants decide that they would make a frivolous claim we could all be tied up in a boundary dispute for ages that would blight the value of our houses! She would probably drop dead.

In the event, any or all of them could have never contemplated the question.

In our adversarial system it takes a complainant and a respondant to have an issue with a strict procedure following. I haven't been served with any statement of claim and so I don't think that there is a real claimant, it is just Mr Fielding playing the French examining Magistrate

pleaseBe honest.


I have brain damagre and disorders caused by "two bleeds" that came from fighting a five year court battle.. Therefore I have a total intolerance of people like Mr fielding who seek to intimidate, bully or harass me especially in legal circumstances thats why I need a level headed person in support.



A 15ft high retaining wall is more liability than asset, why do you want to own it?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Good question, I dont really know .

Perhaps it is the fact that I have always maintained it, erected fences on top[ of the stone and put thorn hedges behind to shield me from the upstairs windows of the three houses at the bottom of the garden.



Or, perhaps a good fight with a civil servant is what I crave. Having been in a coma for 3 weeks after my bleeds it is quite usual for either my GP or Neuro psychiatrist to write a letter to a court for even the most trivial of motoring offences advising them that it is inadvisable for me to appear on health reasons. Can you advise on the legallity of what Mr Fielding has written and how to put that forward. It is too late in a weeks time trying to claw back some lie that has been entered without my knowledge. I would probably insist that a note/Mr Fielding's letter be attached to the register advising everyone that he had recognised a boundary dispute between the 5 properties.So, I either get my total registration, a clean register or a noted register.



I am not going to be able to assist further. I will opt out for another expert.


Hello. The moderators have asked me to reexamine is question. What we need to do is focus in on the main issues. Essentially, you want Land Registry to accept that your boundary is the outer side of the retaining wall. They, on the other hand, want confirmation that this is the case, and that the wall is not a feature jointly owned with the neighbours.

I agree with you that the history would suggest the wall is entirely yours and that the outer side delineates the true boundary. That is all that can concern Land Registry - they simply need to establish the whereabouts of the boundary. Land Registry will not, however, make any determinations where there is a possibility for argument. They normally serve notice on people they feel may be affected by a decision, giving them the opportunity to object to an application. This then removes the decision making process from their hands.

I therefore think you have two choices. First, tell them everything you've told us, and let them serve notices on the neighbours asking them if they agree. If they do, fine. If they don't, I'm afraid you will have an argument with the objector, but hopefully you can convince them of your position before things go too far. Secondly, you could tell Land Registry that, without prejudice to your assertion of ownership of the wall, you will accept a boundary line being drawn down the middle point of the wall. That way, no notice should be needed because Land Registry will be following a less potentially contentious route. In addition, the boundaries shown on Land Registry plans are not guaranteed as accurate, and so there Is little prejudice in pulling them in a bit to exclude arguments with the neighbours.

Does this all make sense?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Sadly, after our problems of last week I reverted to "my way" which is to attack. I e-mailed a series of complaints based upon the substance of the letter you have to Vince Cable MP asking for an explanation of what I perceive to be a personal attack on my integrity and how that fits in with the presumption of innocence and due process.( you must remember that I became brain damaged because of the stress of dealing with "bent" tribunals)

Although it was wonderful to have the President of the EAT apologise for the actions of some of his staff that didn't heal the terrible injury I suffered.


The current problem is that my complaints were referred directly back to Mr Fielding's office to be investigated by two resident solicitors there, which I cannot accept equates to an impartial tribunal.! Can you advise ?




Hi. I am not surprised things were passed to Land Regsitry lawyers, that is the procedure. Like most things, there has to be an internal review before a complaint can be escalated. However, I think for us to get anywhere with the help you requested through JustAnswer, we do need focus. Sorry, I don't mean to patronise, but this site is intended for fairly easy legal questions and limited guidance - I think I've given you a suitable answer above, but I would be more than happy to continue if you feel you need more detail? Best wishes, WB.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Dear WB as you might have gathered I only lose it in legal situations and because of our misunderstanding things got out of hand. - my GP and Neuro Psychiatrist are always ready to write letters advising a court that it isn't good for either they or myself to have me kick off in their building - and now that is sorted I will give you a reference as soon as you want.


Sadly Mr F******g doesn't instill any confidence in me If I were being kind I would say he is incompetant. He obviously doesn't know that the East /West wall extends along the back of another four properties or that when we get past the "valley" properties to my East it continues for another fifteeen properties purely because of the dramatic drop in levels between the old Nursery and Julian Rd


I understand that the owner of Lymore has the same name as the local Conservation Area officer. There was some concern expressed by a councillor on the planning committee that he might have chaired a planning application for very understated approval on a garage extension at Lymore. The two storey existing garage is the size of a large house and what he didn't reveal was that the "extension" was a glass covered oak frame that looks like a massive entrance / conservatory, which now has a professional lifting car ramp and he keeps a vintage car in it There would obviously be a crossover between Shropshire Council planning Authority and the LR

Yet another indication of incompetance is his lack of technical knowledge on his chosen subject. He is like someone claiming that the underground fluid seepage pipework he has uncovered in his garden proves that he owns the wall around a septic tank. Like a septic tank the area inside the other side of the wall from where the clay pipe sticks out needs maintenance to stop it clogging up. My wife kept that corner free from rubbish and regularly rodded the pipework during the 26 years she was able to. For the last 2 years I have paid my gardener £ 80.00 a fortnight to keep primarily that corner clear of leaves and rubbish. I have never had one of my neighbours offer to help either of them tend the system. My insurance advisor agree's with your associate about the retention of the wall. As he say's, `why pay public indemnity insurance on something you don't own! Stop maintaining it also and when there is a large collapse of material into someone elses prioperty get them to sue the LR for compensation as there certainly won't be any of your neighbours volunteering to pay out'.

With this private court going on who is there to put reason into the equation? Please assist although I ramble on. Yours D T


Thanks. If you do want to claim the wall, I think you have little choice but to follow Land Registrys request. I appreciate you feel the person handling your application is incompetent, but that should be dealt with by a separate complaint rather than letting it affect the application. You can either allow Land Registry to serve the notices on the neighbours, potentially opening that can of worms, or ask Land Registry to leave the wall out of the registration. Boundaries on register plans are for general information only anyway, and although you will know the wall is yours, the neighbours (or anyone else) couldn't use your registered title against you in any claim regarding the wall. If you do want the wall, you could always do a statutory declaration that you have always treated the wall as your property, and that the neighbours have never claimed exwall as theirs.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

IDear WB I have done a SD before but will need to cover my A** a bit because I was brutal in my complaint, but that was purely because of my health issues. Can I include the reason's for my (expected in the circumstances) robust reactions to being - accused as I saw it of theft - being attacked? I see it as:

I D T do solemly and sincerely declare

I am a 68 year old retired Construction Manager / Offshore Fabrication Co-ordinator with brain damage, mood and personality disorders and am Hypomanic as the result of two brain haemhorrages that were caused by the stress of a five year court battle.


I and my deceased wife Marilyn have ownedXXXXX---------------- with its 69m x 30m retaining wall around the property since June 1986.

Because of the importance of maintaining its integrity we have instituted a programme of servicing it over this entire period. In addition we have carried third party indemnity insurance to cover the possibility of the walls rupturing and exploding the retained earth and tree's into another's property.We did this without any assistance or offer of help from any of our neighbours ? We/I have continued to maintain the grounds and walls retaining them although one of the properties mentioned ( Lymore) has no boundary with our garden and another 16 St Julians Avenue established their own boundary fence a foot inside their garden along the entire 19m of their garden where it runs parallel to our East / West wall


And I Make etc etc


can you amend / comment please.


Like each time I lose it my Psychiatrist is always keen to explain that although my condition makes me attack I always feel remorse afterwards. Can I rate you and not get cut off as finished. If you want to let go I will understand. if so if you just drop me a small return I will rate you and not respond. DT


Thanks. If you are going to supplement your registration application with a stat dec, I would keep to the facts of your acts of ownership of the wall, rather than mention your illnesses. I'm afraid you will need your solicitor to draft the document so it is set out properly, but you have set out the basics and I think it would be perfectly acceptable to use the acts of ownership you have mentioned in your declaration.

If you leave a rating now, we can continue our chat - you just have to rate and then reply again.
wingrovebuyer, Senior Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 737
Experience: Bachelor of Laws (Honours); PG Diploma in Law; Member of ALA; 9 years' experience
wingrovebuyer and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thanks, and you deserve the rating as I am not the easiest person to deal with.

I inserted the medical stuff because (a) my GP will write with it after our review next Friday when I tell him how unwell I have been. (b) I thought it might take a bit of the anger / sting out of their position knowing that for me, my natural responses to what I perceive as intimidation is an automatic explosion which is totally spontaneous. Where from here ? DT

I'd still leave it out in respect of the declaration, which only needs to concentrate on the ownership of the wall. Now, I'd ask your solicitor to prepare a declaration based on what you've said about your use and ownership of the wall, and when you've sworn it, he can send it to Land Registry to supplement your application.

Thanks for the rating, much appreciated.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you. I always liked working with professionals. I am not completely out of control as when helping other people, I can use my senior management and co-ordinating skills without being personally involved and so don't get angry.

Thanks. I hope this works out, and I wish you good health and happiness!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I will finish tomorrow with how the SD went, Regards DT

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

The SD has gone off by next day special delivery, My Mp has written a letter in support and a retaining wall in a medieval church has collapsed DT