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  1. #1

    Default Retaining wall on the boundary issue


    I have done a search and several threads come up regarding retaining walls. While some are helpful Im finding some contradicting information.

    The issue is that an old concrete (not up to any standards) retaining wall has failed and is in unsafe condition and needs to be replaced. The retaining wall is on the boundary, however in fact is it fully on my side of the boundary (just). Parties on both sides of the wall argue who needs to pay for what.

    So a question is whether a retaining wall on the boundary is subject to fencing law ? Im finding contradicting responses to that. If someone knowledgeable could confirm that would be great. While the wall is fully on my side of the boundary, it is effectively a boundary/fence.

    Who's responsibility it is to maintain retaining wall? While It's fully on my side, I do not have use for that retaining wall don't really care if it is gone. Neighbor however argues that it is my wall and I need to fix, otherwise there will be some damage to "the boundary" and he might take legal action.

    Im also looking for recommendations of a Auckland based lawyer who specializes in this sort of things, to get an official advise.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Memphis TN



    These guys are specialists: alexandradorrington.co.nz
    Last edited by donna; 18-09-2018 at 09:23 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007


    There is no such thing as damage to the boundary. If he does not cooperate remove the retaining wall at your cost and let the soil crumble and erode his property. You do not have an obligation to retain soil to support his land. If he does not want his land to crumble he will need to build a new retaining wall on his side of the boundary. Its as simple as that.

  4. #4


    Not so sure about that. I think there is a right to the support of the surrounding land. Simply if A excavates to the boundary gaining a flat area but creating a need for a retaining wall to support B's land which could then fall on A's property A is liable for the wall which met his need. Conversely if B wished to say level his land by building it up beyond the natural level he would require the wall to retain it and it would be at his cost and on his land.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2004


    I thought that responsibility lies with whoever’s property has changed the natural lay of the land. If yours is cut out that’s you but if his is built up unnaturally that is him. If there is a bit of both it is both of you. I might be wrong.

  6. #6


    Thanks for all the opinions. Keep them coming.

    With regards to 'natural lay of the land', it's hard to say for sure, as it appears it all have been done very long aging, probably in the 50's (traces of wall visible in old aerial photos from that time). There's no legal agreements, easements, etc. The retaining wall in question was actually NOT meant to be retaining wall or handle the load that was placed on it. Either way I feel like I need to get a legal advice, but IM also getting conflicting advice from different lawyers, so yeah, fun fun fun.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Hibiscus Coast


    I'm not sure what part of the country you live in but we do alot of foundation repairs on properties that have been affected by subsidence.
    Timber piles, concrete slabs, house is slipping down the hill literally.
    The retaining wall might be old and look ineffective but it may also have been put there for a reason.
    I can't count the number of houses that have needed foundation repairs because of old retaining walls collapsing or lack of one altogether.
    If you can post a photo would help.


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