Any idea who owns drystone wall

Any idea who owns drystone wall

Postby yamaha-98 » Mon Dec 28, 2015 1:36 pm

Hi

A drystone wall at the bottom of our garden has fallen over into the neighbours garden , and we dont know who is responsible for it. My deeds and the neighbours deeds show no "T" mark on that boundary.
The wall runs along the bottom of approx 6 properties acting as a boundary. I know the houses on my side were built on land bought from a farmer in the late 30's early 40's.
The houses at the other side were built in the 60's. We have always been told by older locals that the wall is not our responsibility because our house was built long before the neighbours house
and that the wall and adjacent land were the farmers property. The wall has always been unsafe and years ago the previous neighbour tried to rebuild it himself when it fell over. We ended up having to put up a retaining wall to hold it back further along to where it has now fallen over. One thing i should mention is when they built the neighbours house the built it a lot lower than ours so there is a drop at there side.
Has anyone any advice?

Thanks
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Re: Any idea who owns drystone wall

Postby MacadamB53 » Mon Dec 28, 2015 9:15 pm

Hi yamaha-98,

define "responsible" - who owns it?

whoever does own it does not necessarily have to maintain it, repair it, or indeed even keep it.
they may, however, be found liable for the damage it causes should it collapse onto someone else's property.

Kind regards, Mac
PS as things stand there's nobody on here who can tell you who owns it (and the hearsay from locals is just that)
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Re: Any idea who owns drystone wall

Postby jonahinoz » Mon Dec 28, 2015 10:17 pm

Hi,

Was there anything in the deeds requiring whoever purchased from the farmer to erect a wall ... or maintain an existing wall, seeing as it is unlikely that anyone would have built a dry-stone wall in the 1930s as a house boundary? I would expect the farmer to want to keep his field boundary.

Does a dry-stone wall have a value? If the neighbours on the other side say it is your wall, you can do what you like with it ... apart from leave it lying in their garden. Maybe somebody will take it away FOC ... or even pay you.

But if the farmer retained the wall, it now belongs to either your neighbour ... or the farmer. :D

602
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Re: Any idea who owns drystone wall

Postby arborlad » Tue Dec 29, 2015 11:58 pm

yamaha-98 wrote:The wall runs along the bottom of approx 6 properties acting as a boundary. I know the houses on my side were built on land bought from a farmer in the late 30's early 40's.


Thanks




Prior to that moment there was absolute certainty over the wall ownership - the farmer.

Where you have a boundary feature that is continuous and separates one property from six properties, it's generally accepted that the one (and older) property will own it, it's also highly unlikely that a drystone wall would have been built when a fence would have sufficed.

The farmer continued farming so would have wanted to retain the wall for stock control and shelter.



............ and we dont know who is responsible for it.



In this context, ownership and responsibilty are regarded as one and the same.



The houses at the other side were built in the 60's. We have always been told by older locals that the wall is not our responsibility because our house was built long before the neighbours house
and that the wall and adjacent land were the farmers property.



I tend to agree with those older locals.
arborlad

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Re: Any idea who owns drystone wall

Postby yamaha-98 » Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:53 pm

Hi
Thanks for the replys.

Our neighbours contacted their insurance company and we did the same. We were both told that the wall was covered on the insurance. We also contacted the land registry office and was told that as there are no inward marked "T" on either deeds then it must be a shared wall. They had a visit from their underwriters and they have agreed to rebuild the drystone wall.I spoke to our insurance underwriters and they said as you have said. In their words, common sense says that if our house was built in the 40s and the remaining field was farm land the wall must have been the farmers.The neighbours house was built in the 60s on land acquired from the farmer/landowner, they must have also bought the wall. And by repairing the wall they also are accepting that they are responsible for the wall.

All in all a good outcome, fingers crossed.

Thanks again
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Re: Any idea who owns drystone wall

Postby arborlad » Wed Dec 30, 2015 1:43 pm

yamaha-98 wrote:Hi
Thanks for the replys.

Our neighbours contacted their insurance company and we did the same. We were both told that the wall was covered on the insurance. We also contacted the land registry office and was told that as there are no inward marked "T" on either deeds then it must be a shared wall. They had a visit from their underwriters and they have agreed to rebuild the drystone wall.I spoke to our insurance underwriters and they said as you have said. In their words, common sense says that if our house was built in the 40s and the remaining field was farm land the wall must have been the farmers.The neighbours house was built in the 60s on land acquired from the farmer/landowner, they must have also bought the wall. And by repairing the wall they also are accepting that they are responsible for the wall.

All in all a good outcome, fingers crossed.

Thanks again



A good outcome indeed (and fingers crossed).

On the broader picture, a drystone wall will have a large footprint but should be regarded as a good and substantial feature of your garden and others. What are the possibilities that the whole wall can be repaired/rebuilt, it would require the cooperation of twelve homeowners but not impossible, are you in a conservation area or could the wall be listed.
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Re: Any idea who owns drystone wall

Postby yamaha-98 » Wed Dec 30, 2015 2:07 pm

Hi

No i dont think we are in a conservation are. Looking at the other houses it looks like ours had the worst part of the wall.
The other parts of the wall look to be in reasonable condition. Looking on the bright side if we would have had to pay for it to be repaired it would'nt have been cheap.
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Re: Any idea who owns drystone wall

Postby MacadamB53 » Wed Dec 30, 2015 2:59 pm

Hi yamaha-98,

Looking on the bright side if we would have had to pay for it to be repaired it would'nt have been cheap.

nobody had to pay for it to be repaired - why was this a concern?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Any idea who owns drystone wall

Postby span » Wed Dec 30, 2015 3:21 pm

MacadamB53 wrote:Hi yamaha-98,

Looking on the bright side if we would have had to pay for it to be repaired it would'nt have been cheap.

nobody had to pay for it to be repaired - why was this a concern?

Kind regards, Mac



IF mac, IF. yammy said IF.
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Re: Any idea who owns drystone wall

Postby MacadamB53 » Wed Dec 30, 2015 3:40 pm

Hi span,

the point I'm making is why did the OP and his neighbour focus on repairing a wall neither of them have been caring for, which has failed before, and which both of them deny owning?!?

surely it would have been an ideal time to remove it altogether...

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Any idea who owns drystone wall

Postby arborlad » Wed Dec 30, 2015 3:59 pm

yamaha-98 wrote:The other parts of the wall look to be in reasonable condition.



That is good, they are certainly worthy of conservation/preservation and almost certainly add value to the properties.




Looking on the bright side if we would have had to pay for it to be repaired it would'nt have been cheap.



Maybe - but worth it. You can play your part by ensuring good access from your side.
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