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  1. #1

    Default Retaining Wall Dispute

    Need some help and advice on a retaining wall issue.

    We have a retaining wall (RW) on our boundary which has collapsed and is encroaching onto our property. The RW is in place to support our neighbors driveway which is on higher ground than our property. We are wanting to fence along this boundary but can not proceed until the RW is repaired. We believe that our neighbor should repair or replace the retaining wall but they are not interested in doing anything. How can we force the neighbor to repair the RW before the driveway it supports completely collapses and could cause serious injury and further property damage.

    Cheers Tungo

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    2,776

    Default

    The first thing is to determine who is legally responsible. and whether the Fencing Act is relevant to your situation. If you google "retaining wall responsibility between neighbours" there are quite a few good responses from lawyers and others, including some here on Propertytalk.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Whangarei
    Posts
    5,867

    Default

    Inform the council about the dangerously unsafe driveway.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Torbay, Auckland
    Posts
    3,870

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by drelly View Post
    Inform the council about the dangerously unsafe driveway.
    I almost bought a house with same situation and I would have owned the offending property.
    But a 25k retaining wall issue.

    I had a good talk with both sides and chatted to retaining wall people and my friend who is a lawyer and small claims adjudicator.

    I cant remember the technical detail but affectively their land is encroaching on yours / tresspassing almost.
    It is their responsibility to fix.

    Explain that to them and ask for a timeframe for it to be fixed.

    p.s. Oh yeah the council thing. If they say no, sort of drop a hint that you will need to go to council to ask for clarification on some points. Note that threatening to go to council if they dont fix it, is blackmail so treat carefully.

    Make sure you diary and document all this, take a friend as witness, or also put in writing.
    Basically getting all your ducks in a row for when you have to go to small claims
    Last edited by Bluekiwi; 14-10-2014 at 09:19 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Tauranga
    Posts
    2,769

    Default

    Are you sure they have built up and your driveway was not cut out? And that it is not in fact your wall to fix?

  6. #6

    Default

    Thanks for the replies.. The fencing act does not cover retaining walls so can't use that. I've tried the council who told me because it was a private RW on private land and they couldn't help. I think it falls under encroachment under the Property Law act and we may need to go to court to have this resolved.

  7. #7

    Default

    We have no driveway along this boundary, only our back yard. The neighbor owns a house at the bottom of a shared driveway along with 3 units.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    1,980

    Default

    What I don't understand is how can the failure of your retaining wall, causing an encroachment of their land be their fault?

    The failure is in the wall, and all walls have a life span. What's to stop someone building a poor quality wall to force the situation, getting the encroacher to pay for a better wall? Extreme example, of course, but you get my point I hope.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    10,365

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Leftette View Post
    What I don't understand is how can the failure of your retaining wall, causing an encroachment of their land be their fault?
    Did you read this bit?
    The RW is in place to support our neighbors driveway which is on higher ground than our property.
    It was built for the benefit of the neighbour.
    Or that's how I read it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    1,980

    Default

    It might well be the case, but if the retaining wall was equally built to allow for a flatter spot on which to build their place, or they get enjoyment for the flat spot created below the wall, couldn't it be argued that it's for their benefit too?

    Id' say it depends fundamentally on which party BUILT the wall. They are responsible.


 

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