Retaining Wall ownership

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lil_lo87
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Retaining Wall ownership

Post by lil_lo87 » Wed Sep 14, 2016 4:04 pm

Hi,
We have a Retaining Wall that runs down the side of our property which has deteriorated over the 5 years we have lived there and it now needs repairing.

We are trying to find out who owns this wall so we can get it fixed. We have checked our title plan and it is unclear who actually owns it. It is outside of our fence boundary and runs down the side of our garden (higher level), but on the other side of our fence, and has a public footpath to the lower side with a public green area with three big cherry blossom trees next to that. The wall also goes along the back of the houses down our road for access but is still the other side of the fence.

I have been in touch with the council who denied ownership and they suggested I spoke to the Highways people as it is along a footpath. I am awaiting a response from them, but in the mean time I have managed to get in touch with the company that built our estate back in the 70's as I found out some of the houses down our road are still rented out from them. They have said it is on their understanding that the wall is not our property and have advised us to speak to a solicitor who can hopefully confirm. Now I have spoken to my solicitor and they have said they also think the wall is not our property.

I am just wondering what should I do next?

Also, I was thinking about the wall last night, and where the three blossom trees are, could it be the roots from these trees that have caused the wall to fail?

lil_lo87
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Re: Retaining Wall ownership

Post by lil_lo87 » Thu Sep 15, 2016 10:38 am

Here are some photos of the wall in question
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lil_lo87
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Re: Retaining Wall ownership

Post by lil_lo87 » Thu Sep 15, 2016 10:56 am

Here are some more photos of the wall in question
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mugwump
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Re: Retaining Wall ownership

Post by mugwump » Thu Sep 15, 2016 11:28 am

My first thoughts based on the photos are the developer built up the land when building the houses so it's yours. I can't see the council lowering their land to cause a need for the retaining wall.

MacadamB53
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Re: Retaining Wall ownership

Post by MacadamB53 » Thu Sep 15, 2016 2:01 pm

mugwump wrote:My first thoughts based on the photos are the developer built up the land when building the houses so it's yours. I can't see the council lowering their land to cause a need for the retaining wall.
+1

IMHO that is almost certainly your wall - the fence came later and it was simply practical to set it in from the wall...

jonahinoz
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Re: Retaining Wall ownership

Post by jonahinoz » Sat Sep 17, 2016 8:58 pm

Hi,

I can't argue with the above answers, but that wall looks a lot older than your house.

Are there any other walls nearby that appear to be the work of the same builder? Maybe your land was once owned by the LA?

Do the builders have copies of the conveyance from when they bought the land? Do they have a copy of the PP for your house to be built? There may be a mention of the wall on either or both. If your plot was bought from the LA, you are entitled to a a copy of their conveyance documents. (Mine cost me about £6, but about 15 years ago ... I was not asking about MY property)

Your Land Register will show first registered owner of your plot.

John W

ukmicky
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Re: Retaining Wall ownership

Post by ukmicky » Sat Oct 08, 2016 12:02 am

If I owned your house I would certainly be treating it as if I owned it.

Its also retains your land given weight to it being your wall . Even if it were not your wall you would have a legal right to maintain it because your land is supported by it.

But looking at it I would say its your wall anyway.
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion

Roblewis
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Re: Retaining Wall ownership

Post by Roblewis » Tue Oct 18, 2016 8:15 pm

My personal view is that this wall was not designed or constructed to be a retaining wall. It looks like a standard garden wall that your developer used to suit his landscaping purposes. It is certainly not going to be cheap to repair/replace.

ukmicky
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Re: Retaining Wall ownership

Post by ukmicky » Tue Oct 18, 2016 11:16 pm

As I have said previously ,it does not matter who actually owns the wall because you have a right to maintain. Repointing it is all it probably needs.


nothingtodowithme wrote:The wall in my opinion does not belong to you;looking at it suggests it is substantially older than the houses.

I suggest delving into the history archives for your area. :D

Looks can be deceiving

Today proper retaining walls are built to exacting standards with dense bricks fired to very high temperatures to prevent moisture from passing through them.

Many years ago they didn't have the building standards and material standards we adopt today, which is why that wall looks how it looks. The wall is covered in calcium carbonate deposits due to moisture passing through from the land it supports. Moisture passing through the brick of a wall will cause the bricks and mortar to deteriorate many times faster than a wall that remains dry. A standard brick continuously being soaked with water can fall apart in less than 10 years ,the same brick on wall that remains mostly dry can remain in almost in perfect condition for a couple of hundred or more years.

I've bought many bricks and built and rebuilt many walls in my time and looking at that photo it looks like the same brick as the house ,that has prematurely aged due to its materials not really being suitable for the purpose of a retaining wall ,if you were to judge it by todays building standards. But that doesn't mean it needs knocking down because a quick jet wash and repointing of the brickwork will vastly increase it strength and improve its looks.

Cheap drainage could also be put in a the same time to improve its life and future looks.
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion

cleo5
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Re: Retaining Wall ownership

Post by cleo5 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:35 pm

You can obtain copies of historic planning permissions from your local planning office. They will send then electronically.
These I have found most useful in determining what was approved to be built and surrounds such as walls, fences or hedging.
If you have your deeds you can see what was conveyed and when and by whom.
Cleo

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