Neighbours lowered soil level - our trees damaging their wall. Who is responsible?

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DFTreeQ
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Neighbours lowered soil level - our trees damaging their wall. Who is responsible?

Post by DFTreeQ »

Tree damaging neighbouring wall where neighbours have lowered soil level;

Our neighbour and us both live on a hill with sloping gardens. There is a fence (neighbours responsibility to maintain) between our gardens, with a line of trees on our side of the fence, which have been there since the properties’ were built. Our neighbours decided to flatten their garden, and dug out some of the ground to do so, building a small wall to hold the earth in between our garden and theirs (ours is the higher one). This was subsequent to the properties being built and the trees on our side were already there.

So clearly building a wall right next to a a tree, just below the point the tree hits the ground, means the roots are now growing into the wall and causing it to crumble. I know that as standard if a tree on our property causes damage to a neighbours wall then it’s our responsibility to fix, but does that apply when they literally dug out the ground next to the tree and built a wall there?

It’s something that they are looking (amicably) between the two houses to fix, but I suspect the only solution is for us to remove our trees as otherwise the roots will keep damaging the wall. Which feels a bit unfair as it’s them that’s changed the soil level in their garden? It doesn’t take an expert to predict that this would happen. Would be good to know legally where we stand!
MacadamB53
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Re: Neighbours lowered soil level - our trees damaging their wall. Who is responsible?

Post by MacadamB53 »

DFTreeQ wrote: Sun May 23, 2021 12:39 pm Tree damaging neighbouring wall where neighbours have lowered soil level;

Our neighbour and us both live on a hill with sloping gardens. There is a fence (neighbours responsibility to maintain) between our gardens, with a line of trees on our side of the fence, which have been there since the properties’ were built. Our neighbours decided to flatten their garden, and dug out some of the ground to do so, building a small wall to hold the earth in between our garden and theirs (ours is the higher one). This was subsequent to the properties being built and the trees on our side were already there.

So clearly building a wall right next to a a tree, just below the point the tree hits the ground, means the roots are now growing into the wall and causing it to crumble. I know that as standard if a tree on our property causes damage to a neighbours wall then it’s our responsibility to fix, but does that apply when they literally dug out the ground next to the tree and built a wall there?

It’s something that they are looking (amicably) between the two houses to fix, but I suspect the only solution is for us to remove our trees as otherwise the roots will keep damaging the wall. Which feels a bit unfair as it’s them that’s changed the soil level in their garden? It doesn’t take an expert to predict that this would happen. Would be good to know legally where we stand!
maybe get an expert to propose the possible solutions - that’s what I’d be doing...
arborlad
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Re: Neighbours lowered soil level - our trees damaging their wall. Who is responsible?

Post by arborlad »

DFTreeQ wrote: Sun May 23, 2021 12:39 pm Tree damaging neighbouring wall where neighbours have lowered soil level;



How much have they lowered their land, what are the dimensions of the wall, was it a professional or DIY jobby?
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
ukmicky
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Re: Neighbours lowered soil level - our trees damaging their wall. Who is responsible?

Post by ukmicky »

There is another solution if the trees are not large . Severe the roots and place a root barrier between the tree and the wall.

It’s quite possible the trees will still survive.
Any information provided is not legal advice and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
DFTreeQ
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Re: Neighbours lowered soil level - our trees damaging their wall. Who is responsible?

Post by DFTreeQ »

arborlad wrote: Sun May 23, 2021 1:59 pm
DFTreeQ wrote: Sun May 23, 2021 12:39 pm Tree damaging neighbouring wall where neighbours have lowered soil level;



How much have they lowered their land, what are the dimensions of the wall, was it a professional or DIY jobby?
It’s about 1-3 foot depending on where in the garden. Unfortunately it was before we bought our home, so no idea whether it was done properly
Collaborate
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Re: Neighbours lowered soil level - our trees damaging their wall. Who is responsible?

Post by Collaborate »

On the basis that you can be liable for damage caused by your tree’s branches to a property built long after your tree became established I’d imagine you’d be liable for the damage caused by your roots. Liability only starts from when you are notified of the problem, and given a chance to take remedial steps.

As your insurance company would have to pick up the tab if there is any claim made by your neighbour you should notify your insurers straight away.
IdefixUK
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Re: Neighbours lowered soil level - our trees damaging their wall. Who is responsible?

Post by IdefixUK »

DFTreeQ wrote: Sun May 23, 2021 12:39 pm Tree damaging neighbouring wall where neighbours have lowered soil level;
....Our neighbours decided to flatten their garden, and dug out some of the ground to do so, building a small wall to hold the earth in between our garden and theirs ...
...means the roots are now growing into the wall and causing it to crumble...
Hello DFTreeQ.

It is possible that the wall was not constructed or designed properly for the job, and may have been built from the wrong materials and with the wrong mortar mix. It could be that the roots are taking advantage of growing through cracks and holes caused originally by faults in the way the wall was built.
If you are interested Google "spalling of brickwork" , or "frost attack on bricks";

and take a look at the website in the link.
https://www.brick.org.uk/admin/resource ... bility.pdf
All interesting stuff.

Regards
MacadamB53
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Re: Neighbours lowered soil level - our trees damaging their wall. Who is responsible?

Post by MacadamB53 »

IdefixUK wrote: Mon May 24, 2021 8:33 am
DFTreeQ wrote: Sun May 23, 2021 12:39 pm Tree damaging neighbouring wall where neighbours have lowered soil level;
....Our neighbours decided to flatten their garden, and dug out some of the ground to do so, building a small wall to hold the earth in between our garden and theirs ...
...means the roots are now growing into the wall and causing it to crumble...
Hello DFTreeQ.

It is possible that the wall was not constructed or designed properly for the job, and may have been built from the wrong materials and with the wrong mortar mix. It could be that the roots are taking advantage of growing through cracks and holes caused originally by faults in the way the wall was built.
If you are interested Google "spalling of brickwork" , or "frost attack on bricks";

and take a look at the website in the link.
https://www.brick.org.uk/admin/resource ... bility.pdf
All interesting stuff.

Regards
proving the construction of the wall wasn’t A1 won’t totally absolve the OP of liability for the damage caused
arborlad
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Re: Neighbours lowered soil level - our trees damaging their wall. Who is responsible?

Post by arborlad »

MacadamB53 wrote: Sun May 23, 2021 12:54 pm
maybe get an expert to propose the possible solutions - that’s what I’d be doing...
[/quote]





There is a trust issue with this member, don't be dissuaded from responding because of him.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
arborlad
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Re: Neighbours lowered soil level - our trees damaging their wall. Who is responsible?

Post by arborlad »

DFTreeQ wrote: Mon May 24, 2021 6:26 am
arborlad wrote: Sun May 23, 2021 1:59 pm
DFTreeQ wrote: Sun May 23, 2021 12:39 pm Tree damaging neighbouring wall where neighbours have lowered soil level;



How much have they lowered their land, what are the dimensions of the wall, was it a professional or DIY jobby?
It’s about 1-3 foot depending on where in the garden. Unfortunately it was before we bought our home, so no idea whether it was done properly



A photo may help, if you're willing to.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
IdefixUK
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Re: Neighbours lowered soil level - our trees damaging their wall. Who is responsible?

Post by IdefixUK »

Is the retaining wall that has been built by the neighbours entirely on their land?

Thanks
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