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  1. #1

    Angry Retaining wall and boundary. Can our neighbours make us remove a hedge?

    Hi all

    First time poster here.

    We have an ongoing dispute with a neighbour, who happens to be a large corporate. Last year they accessed our property and 'hard pruned' one of our hedges without notice or permission. Some of this was exclusively on our property. We went from having a 4m hedge to some stumps.

    This then led to concerns over the retaining wall between the two properties which is leaning out. A boundary survey now indicates that they own the wall in entirety. The wall in questions is old and not engineered so would not come close to code.

    We've been left with no hedge and no privacy. The corporate now also want to remove a further hedge tree from our property which will make this worse. The tree in question is a good 2m from the end of the wall.

    Do they have a right to tell us what we can do on our property? We want to replant a hedge to restore our privacy. We've had a vaguely threatening email suggesting that we are responsible for damage to the wall because of the hedge and a tree that was planted close to it (now removed).

    Can anyone suggest a lawyer who specialises in this type of issue? Any help would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    7,633

    Default

    Good luck. See the 'Similar Threads' below for more information and discussion on trees etc.

    cheers,

    Donna
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  3. #3

    Default

    what part of country are you in?

    You may have obligation is respect to the tree (if)damaging the wall but this is unlikely and where is the evidence (engineers report?)

  4. #4

    Default

    They do have a report from Opus although it is not a full structural survey. The wall is clearly very old - they suggested from the 70's but we think younger. It's not an engineered wall.

    Do we have the right of support for our land? At the moment they are saying we can't do what we want on it.

    We're in Auckland.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    2,794

    Default

    You have the option to issue a fencing notice so the neighbour shares the cost of a new fence.

    Maintenance of retaining walls can be a bit tricky, but there is a general obligation not to jeopardise the other property. Usually that means the property that cut away their land has an obligation to the upper property.

    See a lawyer by all means, but there is a lot on the subject on this site, the internet and of course the Fencing Act itself.

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by artemis View Post
    You have the option to issue a fencing notice so the neighbour shares the cost of a new fence.

    Maintenance of retaining walls can be a bit tricky, but there is a general obligation not to jeopardise the other property. Usually that means the property that cut away their land has an obligation to the upper property.

    See a lawyer by all means, but there is a lot on the subject on this site, the internet and of course the Fencing Act itself.

    I've had a look at the fencing act but can't find anything about retaining walls or the right to support.

    Can anyone point me towards the legislation.

    We're very concerned that removing the tree in question will lead to our land falling or subsiding which in turn would jeopardize our communal driveway.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Hibiscus Coast
    Posts
    1,800

    Default

    If the wall is on a lean and now a boundary survey indicates it is fully on their property, does that mean it was once on the boundary? If so then the responsibility of the parties to whose boundary it is was originally built in?
    As far as I am aware a hedge is not classed as a fence. We have just removed over 50m of hedging between us and a neighbour to build a 1.8m high wooden fence. They wanted the straggly hedge to remain and tried to argue that a hedge was acceptable, however it's not.
    As far as subsidence, because of the really hot weather we have had this summer there is an abundance of subsidence. Retaining walls, piles, driveways all seem to be shrinking.

  8. #8

    Default

    subsidence strictly means ;
    Subsidence is the process by which an area of land sinks to a lower level than the land surrounding it, or a building begins to sink into the ground. Under certain circumstances, land subsidence is covered under flood policies. (collins)


    shrinkage is natural land movement and expected in clay soils with expansion and shrinkage over seasons.

    retaining wall collapse suggests structural support failure or poor design rather than the ground causing the issue?







  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Hibiscus Coast
    Posts
    1,800

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by John the builder View Post
    subsidence strictly means ;
    Subsidence is the process by which an area of land sinks to a lower level than the land surrounding it, or a building begins to sink into the ground. Under certain circumstances, land subsidence is covered under flood policies. (collins)


    shrinkage is natural land movement and expected in clay soils with expansion and shrinkage over seasons.

    retaining wall collapse suggests structural support failure or poor design rather than the ground causing the issue?






    So its not possible for the soil behind a retaining wall to shrink and then cause subsidence of the wall?

  10. #10

    Default

    it is the use of the word I question. Subsidence is not at work here?


 

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