retaining wall -responsibilty to maintain and /or for rebuilding costs

violetqueen
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:57 pm

retaining wall -responsibilty to maintain and /or for rebuilding costs

Post by violetqueen » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:24 am

wall from neighbour B's garden.png
wall from neighbour's garden.jpg
I am posting for a friend and would be v grateful for views .

Friend A has a house in a small terrace built early nineteenth century . Below/downhill from the terrace in a parallel road there are 3 Victorian c.1898 houses where neighbour B lives .

A wall runs along the rear of A's terrace and at the back of the small gardens of the Victorian houses . A's terrace has gardens whose level is above that of the Victorian houses .

A's title and plan are silent on the matter of walls . B has a deed which mentions walls and drains but is largely illegible/so badly reproduced that the Land Reg doc is impossible to read .

Neighbour B wishes to build a small extension which would finish I think just under 4 metres from the wall and to take down and rebuild the wall .

We are unsure whose land the wall is built on but had assumed that it was put in place by the builder constructing the 3 Victorian properties. It runs behind Neighbour B's house and behind the houses either side of him.The houses either side of B have buttressed the wall .

Obviously the matter of sharing the cost of rebuilding the wall behind B has been raised and we are unsure how to respond .

Neighbour B is describing the wall as a party wall and showing a boundary line dissecting the wall vertically .

As said would be very grateful for views and input .
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Collaborate
Posts: 1756
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:17 am
Number of Posts per Page: 20
Number of topics per page: 20

Re: retaining wall -responsibilty to maintain and /or for rebuilding costs

Post by Collaborate » Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:48 pm

What does your friend want to happen?

The wall looks in decent condition. If it doesn't need rebuilding then B will need A's consent to change the wall (ie rebuild it any different to how it is now) and must pay for the cost of all the work themselves.

violetqueen
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:57 pm

Re: retaining wall -responsibilty to maintain and /or for rebuilding costs

Post by violetqueen » Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:08 pm

I guess it's either a a shared wall

b A's wall or

c B's wall

so I think I understand about B having to bear cost . But rushing out now so need to think .

This is a close up , but obviously one would need to see the wall . I think it needs some repair and that a complete rebuild would be prohibitive .I wonder if B is hoping to negeotiate exchanging some of her land currently behind the wall in return for a reduced bill ?

I think my friend would prefer not to incur costs and not to be taken advantage of .
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

IdefixUK
Posts: 491
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:07 pm
Number of topics per page: 25

Re: retaining wall -responsibilty to maintain and /or for rebuilding costs

Post by IdefixUK » Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:05 pm

Hello violetqueen,
That looks an interesting wall! It looks like it could have been the rear carrage entrance for the terrace A. Are there any signs of hinges on the flank parts of the wall? What is the difference in soil heights from one side to the other? Are you sure that it has been buttressed each side of B or could it be original?
Another possibility is that in the alcove once stood an orangery or a potting shed for a larger house nearby. You could research this on line using one of the old map websites.

As Collaborate has commented the wall certainly doesn't appear to be in poor condition. Why the worry about the wall if the development of B will a "small extension" some 4 metres away. Are they planning to dig deep for foundations, and are concerned that the existing wall will suffer? (This is possibly the case here as it is on a hillside). Have you seen the plans of the extension, I just wonder if the plan is to come a good deal closer to the existing wall than 4 metres.

Are any of the properties listed?

I think it was on this gardenlaw site where someone told us that they went to the Land Registry offices to see the copy that they hold on file, and that copy was legible whereas the one available online was not. Is it just a poor copy, or is it that it is hand-written, or both?

Could we see photo from the otherside please (from side A) Thanks.

Regards

ukmicky
Posts: 4918
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:13 pm
Number of Posts per Page: 20
Number of topics per page: 20
Location: London

Re: retaining wall -responsibilty to maintain and /or for rebuilding costs

Post by ukmicky » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:25 pm

Normally if everything is silent and there is nothing which points to ownership the higher land which gains the benefit is deemed to own the wall.


Your friend doesn’t have to do anything and if the lower neighbour wishes to rebuild due to his extension it will be at his cost and he will need your friends permission because even if your friend doesn't own it he we have a right if support that can’t be removed by law.

if the wall requires underpinning in order to stabilise it due the building of the extension, under the party wall act that will be at the neighbours cost after sending your friend a party wall notice.


If the wall is in bad condition and it makes sense to rebuild it which in the future would be at your friend expense as he gains the benefit , it may be a good idea to accept the offer and share the cost .

If it’s a party wall and the neighbour can show a case that it requires rebuilding due to its condition normally the person who benefits the most pays the most . You only pay for the benefit you gain ,so as it is holding up your friends land he could end up paying the lions share.

If the lower land owns it the higher land will have a right of support but the lower land can let it fall down . However as the higher land can’t by law allow there land to slip onto the lower land , the higher land can be forced to maintain it or provide another solution to prevent there land slipping onto the lower land.

That wall whilst it is not falling down is in need of work and at the minimum needs repointing or it will start to collapse at some stage.

If it were to collapse during the building* of the extension a court would use evidence as to its condition prior to the collapse to determine if the neighbour should bear the whole cost and looking at it they would not be held responsible for the whole cost.
Any information provided is not legal advice and you are advised to gain a professional opinion

Collaborate
Posts: 1756
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:17 am
Number of Posts per Page: 20
Number of topics per page: 20

Re: retaining wall -responsibilty to maintain and /or for rebuilding costs

Post by Collaborate » Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:13 pm

My thought is that the older property might own the wall. It was built significantly prior to the lower property, and one would have expected its boundary wall to have been built then.

the deeds to both properties will need to be examined.

violetqueen
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:57 pm

Re: retaining wall -responsibilty to maintain and /or for rebuilding costs

Post by violetqueen » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:50 am

Thank you v much Collaborate ,UKMicky and Idefix .

It's not my property so I'm afraid I have no photos from A's side .

I agree that the wall may well belong to the older property . Also agrre that maybe it could be repaired . I think some sort of independent assesment of it's condition is needed .

On the other hand I suppose it's possible that it was built as part of the construction of the 3 Victorian houses when they were built on land behind 2 of the older properties .
showing long gardens of A's terrace .png
Or possibly on land which had once belonged to the 2 older properties ,possibly entrances to the properties ?

Idle speculation I know . The Deeds do need to be looked at .

The land registry has no note that there are any deeds filed for A's property ,so I'm thinking they don't have a copy .There are deeds for B's property but ,although they are in immaculate script the copy is too poor to usefully decipher . The copy has a stamp that indicates that it was compared with the original by slcr. Recently ,obviously when recently purchased .

I'm v grateful for everyone's input and views .
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

IdefixUK
Posts: 491
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:07 pm
Number of topics per page: 25

Re: retaining wall -responsibilty to maintain and /or for rebuilding costs

Post by IdefixUK » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:31 am

If the property with the 'drop pin' in it is property A. Then it looks as though any rebuild of the wall at the bottom of the garden of A, may also involve the property next door to A. Just to complicate matters.
Or is the 'drop pin' property B?

Regards

violetqueen
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:57 pm

Re: retaining wall -responsibilty to maintain and /or for rebuilding costs

Post by violetqueen » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:44 am

Drop pin is where A lives .

I'd not really considered implications of rebuilding part of a wall which ,yes,would be the case here as the wall extends across neighbour B's garden and across part of the garden of one of his neighbours and all of the garden his other neighbour .

I suppose B will have to talk to the neighbours either side of him but I presume technically repairing a bit of a wall is possible .

Collaborate
Posts: 1756
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:17 am
Number of Posts per Page: 20
Number of topics per page: 20

Re: retaining wall -responsibilty to maintain and /or for rebuilding costs

Post by Collaborate » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:08 am

If the wall was built by whoever built property B you'd expect it to skirt along the whole rear boundary of B and its neighbour. Looking at the make up of the wall, how far does it extend?

violetqueen
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:57 pm

Re: retaining wall -responsibilty to maintain and /or for rebuilding costs

Post by violetqueen » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:25 pm

Collaborate I believe it does extend as you describe . The pictures in my first post show it extending across B's property and across his neighbours on the right ,as you view the shot .

Collaborate
Posts: 1756
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:17 am
Number of Posts per Page: 20
Number of topics per page: 20

Re: retaining wall -responsibilty to maintain and /or for rebuilding costs

Post by Collaborate » Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:49 am

violetqueen wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:25 pm
Collaborate I believe it does extend as you describe . The pictures in my first post show it extending across B's property and across his neighbours on the right ,as you view the shot .
And does but wrap around the whole boundary of the back gardens of property B and its neighbour?

violetqueen
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:57 pm

Re: retaining wall -responsibilty to maintain and /or for rebuilding costs

Post by violetqueen » Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:08 am

It goes straight across the ends of the rear garden of B and also that of B's neighbour on B's western side .On B's eastern side it extends partially across his neighbour's garden .This neighbour has built an additional wall wrapping round the corner of the orginal wall.

But I'm beginning to think that the fact that A's garden wall goes across only part of one of B's neighbours gardens indicates that the gardens of A and her easterly neighbour were enclosed by a wall before the plot on the other side(where B and his neoghbour are) was developed .

Collaborate
Posts: 1756
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:17 am
Number of Posts per Page: 20
Number of topics per page: 20

Re: retaining wall -responsibilty to maintain and /or for rebuilding costs

Post by Collaborate » Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:43 am

To me that suggests that the wall belongs to the B property. It is quite possible that they built it to retain your land when they lowered their land to make the rear gardens level. Had the builders of your property raised the level of your land they would have simply built a retaining wall along the back of property A. That they didn't do so suggests that it was the builders of property B who altered the levels of the land and that they, therefore are responsible for making sure the land of property A is supported.

This is guesswork though, and you may need a surveyor or a solicitor to advise further.

violetqueen
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:57 pm

Re: retaining wall -responsibilty to maintain and /or for rebuilding costs

Post by violetqueen » Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:59 am

Thank you for your reply Collaborate .Though deeply interesting to me I can imagine that not not everyone wants to wade through text about A and B and neighbours .

I agree that actual inspection of the site and further professional advice is needed .

Post Reply