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Need advise regarding retaining wall on section borders

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  • Need advise regarding retaining wall on section borders

    Hi All,

    I am building a new house in Wellington. Our section is on hill but has been flatted by the subdivision.

    I have a question regarding retaining wall so I am really hoping someone could help me here.

    Basically the left hand section of mine is higher and the right hand is lower.. My question is who's responsible to put retaining wall in both borders? is it the upside land owner (so I have to retain the right bank) or downside owner (so I have to retain the left bank). I understand we can share cost between neighbor but really I am looking who's responsible is here because both banks are not in same height.

    Please advise

    Cheers

  • #2
    There is another thread on here about retaining walls.
    The big question is who benefits from the retaining wall?
    I built on a hill once. The neighbour wanted a retaining wall.
    They paid for it all as it was of no benefit to me at all - in fact I'd rather it wasn't there.

    Comment


    • #3
      To put it simply, it is more about who is removing support from whom. If, when your section was excavated, it removed "support" from the next section, you are responsible for the retaining wall....because a person may not remove support from, and thereby cause damage to, neighbouring land. With ongoing maintenance - where you buy a property that long ago had a retaining wall put in - it can be difficult to tell, a long time after the event, whether the upside property added dirt to get built higher (so it was their problem) or the lower property excavated (making it their problem). In that instance it is often helpful to look at the retaining wall in relation to the boundary...if it is entirely in your land, then it is likely to be your problem. I found it a bit difficult to visualise your situation sorry, so can't be specific atm.

      Developers that put in retaining walls should either do it completely within the boundary of the excavating lot or put in a sort of "party wall" easement (that spells out maintenance/repair splits) when its right on the boundary, but unfortunately many put it right on the boundary without anything to give future guidance.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Ivan McIntosh View Post
        Developers that put in retaining walls should either do it completely within the boundary of the excavating lot or put in a sort of "party wall" easement (that spells out maintenance/repair splits) when its right on the boundary, but unfortunately many put it right on the boundary without anything to give future guidance.
        What would this sort of thing cost?
        I am about to create a couple of small retaining walls (<1.5m) on the boundary between 2 sections I own and was just going to give myself permission to do it (after consulting with myself of course).

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        • #5
          If it's a new wall and it's fairly large, ie >1m in height, then it should be included in the title with a construction & maintenance agreement.

          For an existing retaining wall on the boundary, I think both owners are responsible.

          Talk to a lawyer for your specific property circumstances.

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          • #6
            You talking to me Gary?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Wayne View Post
              What would this sort of thing cost?
              I am about to create a couple of small retaining walls (<1.5m) on the boundary between 2 sections I own and was just going to give myself permission to do it (after consulting with myself of course).
              Hmmm... I think it would be too much for what you're talking about Wayne, it is most efficiently done as part of a development subdivision...because the easement, to be registered, has to refer to a plan and you don't really want to be getting a surveyor in to draw a plan of the retaining wall area just on its lonesome. I'm not 100% sure on that, if I had the time and inclination I would ring LINZ and see whether such an easement can just refer to a boundary, eg western boundary line of Lot 1 DP whatever. The LINZ help line is usually pretty good. To get it drafted by a lawyer and registered would probably be in the 600 to 1k range.

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              • #8
                Thanks Ivan
                I think I'll just follow plan A.

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