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Retaining garden wall collapse

Discussion in 'Home and Garden' started by Rob43, 8 Jan 2021.

  1. Rob43

    Mobster

    Joined: 17 Jun 2003

    Posts: 3,091

    Location: Scotland

    Wondering if anyone here would be able to help with some info.
    My wall at the bottom of my garden has collapsed. It's a retaining wall, so is a shared wall with neighbours.
    I have a large tree near the wall that I'm getting removed now after the wall collapsed.
    The landlord of the house that shares the wall is stating that it's down to me to get it fixed. He's saying the damage has been caused by the tree. But there's no evidence of that. it's not covered by my building insurance unfortunately.

    Is it just me that's liable?

    Any advice would be welcome

    Rob
     
  2. Dis86

    Caporegime

    Joined: 23 Dec 2011

    Posts: 26,290

    Location: Northern England

    Is he a qualified structural engineer? If not ignore him.
     
  3. Rob43

    Mobster

    Joined: 17 Jun 2003

    Posts: 3,091

    Location: Scotland

    He doesn't even stay in the house, he's the landlord. He's demanding that I fix the wall. Would that be a shared responsibility or do I have to bear the cost myself?

    Regards,

    Rob
     
  4. HoneyBadger

    Mobster

    Joined: 2 Aug 2016

    Posts: 3,568

    Location: Kent

    Unless he has proof, it’s 50/50.
     
  5. Bouton Aide

    Caporegime

    Joined: 9 Aug 2008

    Posts: 28,401

    Then you both have to pay. 50/50
     
  6. touch

    Capodecina

    Joined: 28 Oct 2006

    Posts: 11,920

    Location: Sufferlandria

    Check your deeds, it might detail who is responsible for the maintenance of which boundaries. If not, it'll be shared.
     
  7. Rob43

    Mobster

    Joined: 17 Jun 2003

    Posts: 3,091

    Location: Scotland

    Thanks for the advice, much appreciated

    Regards,

    Rob
     
  8. Angilion

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 5 Dec 2003

    Posts: 18,775

    Location: Just to the left of my PC

    A possibly useful first port of call would be the land registry which might show who's responsible for the wall. It probably won't, but it might. Oddly, there's no legal requirement for that responsibility to be fixed. But if there is an existing boundary agreement it will be recorded there.

    https://www.gov.uk/your-property-boundaries

    Oh wait, you're in Scotland. Different rules there. I have no idea if the exact boundaries and legal responsibilities for boundary walls/fences/etc are fixed and recorded in Scotland. But that site should point you in the right direction for Scottish rules and records...yeah, this looks like the right place for Scotland:

    https://www.ros.gov.uk/services/search-property-information

    It'll be a start. If it's your wall it's your problem. If it's their wall but they allege it was damaged by your tree that'll be more complicated. But finding out if legal responsibility for the wall is fixed and if so who bears that responsibility will be a start.
     
  9. Rob43

    Mobster

    Joined: 17 Jun 2003

    Posts: 3,091

    Location: Scotland

    Yeah, I'm in Scotland. Thanks for the link. I'll look into that.
    Again, thanks for the info

    Rob
     
  10. SeatIbiza

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 21 Jan 2008

    Posts: 1,229

    Location: Cotswolds

    Some pictures and plans/aerials would be very useful to help out more...
     
  11. Rob43

    Mobster

    Joined: 17 Jun 2003

    Posts: 3,091

    Location: Scotland

    I'm going to get the deeds tomorrow hopefully, they are at solicitors. Will sort some out then

    Rob
     
  12. Derek W

    Capodecina

    Joined: 1 Oct 2008

    Posts: 11,740

    Location: Glebe Park

  13. Rob43

    Mobster

    Joined: 17 Jun 2003

    Posts: 3,091

    Location: Scotland

    So, my garden is retained by the wall. There is around a 6 foot drop to the neighbours garden. But how can I maintain the other side of the wall, it's in my neighbours garden

    Thanks,

    Rob
     
  14. Azza

    Caporegime

    Joined: 6 Dec 2005

    Posts: 35,819

    Location: Birmingham

    I can't offer any useful input but all this reminds me of is In The Loop.

     
  15. dLockers

    Mobster

    Joined: 21 Jan 2010

    Posts: 3,690

    Its your retaining wall and your tree that damaged it. What is the question? Just be glad it didn't hurt anyone because of your lack of maintenance. 6ft is a huge drop and it should have been on your radar.
     
  16. Rob43

    Mobster

    Joined: 17 Jun 2003

    Posts: 3,091

    Location: Scotland

    No, the tree didn't cause the wall to collapse, according to the tree surgeon that's doing work on it & the wall looked okay to me before it fell.
    Yes, I'm glad it never hurt anyone, but I had no idea it was going to collapse

    Rob
     
  17. dLockers

    Mobster

    Joined: 21 Jan 2010

    Posts: 3,690

    Yeah to be fair when I need a structural survey, a tree surgeon and a wall looking okay are basically my go-to principles as well.

    Let's totally ignore the 6ft worth of soil pushing against it and how typically walls don't fall down. Let's also ignore the fact that remediation work to a nearby tree is purely coincidental.
     
  18. Semple

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 5 Mar 2010

    Posts: 8,062

    How long has the wall been there? and how close is the tree to the wall?

    Retaining walls don't just fall down, if the tree is very close than that'll be a prime suspect.

    Is there much of the wall to repair? Is it a small repair, or has the damage compromised a large section of the wall and the entire section needs repairing/replacing?

    I'd be cautious here in that if the repair bill becomes expensive, the landlord might go down a legal route to determine what caused the wall to collapse, and whether you were at fault for not preventing it sooner. Obviously if it's a small job/small repair bill then that's not worth the hassle.
     
  19. amigafan2003

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Jan 2008

    Posts: 18,040

    Location: Fylde Coast, Lancashire

    You have the right to access a neighbours land to maintain your property.
     
  20. Rob43

    Mobster

    Joined: 17 Jun 2003

    Posts: 3,091

    Location: Scotland

    There is a 6ft wall separating the gardens. My garden isn't 6ft higher than the neighbours. There is maybe 1ft to 2ft of soil against the wall. Maybe I've not explained that too clearly.

    As far as the age of the wall, it's at least 50 years old according to other neighbours. I've not lived here that long. Its about 30ft that's went. I've got a stonemason coming to have a look soon

    Rob