Boundary wall on top of a retaining wall

Boundary wall on top of a retaining wall

Postby Risu » Thu Aug 10, 2017 9:34 pm

I would greatly appreciate if someone could provide me with their thoughts / guidance on the following situation…

My house sits within a square plot of land, and my adjoining neighbour’s house also sits with in a square parcel of land. Both houses face the main road. My neighbour’s house is situated at a higher level than ours, so there is a retaining wall between us, which is around 90cm high (4 breeze blocks) at the back and gradually tapers down to a few centimetres at the other end near the main road.

The houses were developed by the same builder (my neighbour’s house was built first), and my title document includes a drawing (hand drawn) which shows both plots of land with coloured borders around them representing the boundaries. The line which represents the retaining wall appears to run straight down the middle of the two adjoining coloured borders (i.e. my border is red, his is green, the boundary wall line sits in the middle and separates the two colours).

Am I right to regard the face of the retaining wall as the natural boundary line between our properties? In other words, am I right to regard the retaining wall as my neighbour’s property, and that anything which sits on top of it such as a fence or wall, is his under his ownership / responsibility?

The reason I am asking is because my neighbour wants to build a new wall on top of the retaining wall. He built 6ft brick pillars with wooden board fences there in 2015, but this has since collapsed due to high winds, and caused severe damage to my wife’s car (my driveway runs adjacent to the retaining wall). He now wants me to contribute money towards the new wall!
Risu
 
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Re: Boundary wall on top of a retaining wall

Postby MacadamB53 » Thu Aug 10, 2017 9:43 pm

Hi Risu,

if your neighbour wants to build themself a new wall on their land that is their prerogative.

and if you want to contribute to their wall that is your prerogative.

whether the retaining wall stands wholly on their land, on your land, or partly on both can only be speculated on without more details - are the boundary features referred to at all on the register for either property?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Boundary wall on top of a retaining wall

Postby Risu » Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:34 pm

Thanks for the response Mac.

Yes I am aware that it’s his prerogative to build his wall; I do not want to stop him building his new breeze block wall (approx 90cm /3ft) - my main concern, which I have raised with him, is that he needs to ensure that the wall is built properly and stable enough to withstand strong winds. The brick pillars and wooden board fence that he built in 2015 was actually the second incarnation – the first incarnation had fallen down in the same circumstances prior to my purchasing the property. The previous owner of my property did provide a contribution to my neighbour for the building of the second incarnation just before we exchanged contracts. A few months after we’d moved in, my neighbour commissioned and oversaw the building work, and he told us at the time that he was going to have the pillars reinforced with rebar. The building work was done whilst we were away on holiday. When the second incarnation fell, it became obvious that he had not installed the reinforcement.

The register for my property does not refer to any boundary features, other than the inclusion of the drawing I mentioned in my first post. The boundary in question is shown as a dotted line in the title plan. There’s nothing specific about boundaries mentioned in our Transfer document (TR1) either. However, according to my neighbour, the register for his property does state that “the walls/fences dividing the plots are a party wall/fence”. Does this provision stand even though that my resister makes no mention of it?

I guess I just feel a bit aggrieved that he’s asking me to contribute for a wall which wouldn’t have been necessary had he built the fence correctly in the first place, and the fact that I have already incurred financial losses following the damage to the car.
Risu
 
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Re: Boundary wall on top of a retaining wall

Postby MacadamB53 » Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:53 pm

Hi Risu,

ask for a look at that wording.

if it's there and refers to that boundary then the retaining wall stands partly on both properties.
which means it's partly owned by both so if either side wants to build it up further they'll need consent from the other first.
if you don't/can't contribute and then refuse consent because the lower budget means the wall will be sub-standard then he could simply build himself the new sub-standard wall wholly on his land and you'd have no say.

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Boundary wall on top of a retaining wall

Postby jdfi » Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:22 am

Dont confuse the boundary feature (the retaining wall?) which may or may not be shared with an extra privacy screen he may wish to put on top of it.
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Re: Boundary wall on top of a retaining wall

Postby Risu » Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:02 pm

MacadamB53 wrote:Hi Risu,

ask for a look at that wording.

if it's there and refers to that boundary then the retaining wall stands partly on both properties.
which means it's partly owned by both so if either side wants to build it up further they'll need consent from the other first.
if you don't/can't contribute and then refuse consent because the lower budget means the wall will be sub-standard then he could simply build himself the new sub-standard wall wholly on his land and you'd have no say.

Kind regards, Mac


Mac, the exact wording within my neighbour's register of title reads as follows...

"it is hereby declared that the walls/fences dividing Plot 1 and 2 [address] aforesaid shall be a party wall/fence and maintainable and repairable as such at the joint expense of the respective owners."

Sorry I may not have explained clearly enough in my previous posts - he wants to build the new boundary wall right on top of the edge of the retaining wall (a parapet wall). He has said that he wants to build wall piers/supports on my side, and as such these would extend onto my land. I have told him that I do not want the piers on my land, and that I want the new wall professionally designed with steel rod reinforcement and offset foundation on his side. I am still awaiting a Party Wall notice from him.

Does the fact that he want's to build a parapet wall on top of the retaining wall mean that he is actually extending the height of that wall? In other words would it be classed as one whole structure?
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Re: Boundary wall on top of a retaining wall

Postby Risu » Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:05 pm

jdfi wrote:Dont confuse the boundary feature (the retaining wall?) which may or may not be shared with an extra privacy screen he may wish to put on top of it.


Not quite sure what you mean jdfi... do you mean to say that the wall he wants to build could be classed as a privacy screen rather than a party wall?
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Re: Boundary wall on top of a retaining wall

Postby jdfi » Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:25 pm

Risu wrote:
jdfi wrote:Dont confuse the boundary feature (the retaining wall?) which may or may not be shared with an extra privacy screen he may wish to put on top of it.


Not quite sure what you mean jdfi... do you mean to say that the wall he wants to build could be classed as a privacy screen rather than a party wall?


Possibly. Though this isnt something I have ever come across before.
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Re: Boundary wall on top of a retaining wall

Postby MacadamB53 » Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:29 pm

Hi Risu,

Does the fact that he want's to build a parapet wall on top of the retaining wall mean that he is actually extending the height of that wall? In other words would it be classed as one whole structure?

yes
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