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Hi

Can anyone help me with soil/clay leaning on a decorative wall as if it were a retaining wall - how it would destabilise it when it is over half way up the wall? What I can do to prove that it's that that is making the party wall lean from my neighbours side to my side. Any help would be great. Thank you

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Sounds like this is a legal question rather than an engineerign or arboricultural issue.

 

I can't tell a lot from the pictures but as you describe it it shouldn't take much to show that soil with or without trees on the adjacent land is causing damage to the wall. An engineer or a building survey or could do this. The tree aspect would be contributory but probably isn't as fundamentally important as the difference in ground levels.

 

The question seems to me to be whether the neighbour has the right to rely on the wall as a retaining structure. At common law adjacent landowners cannot rely on built structures to retain their land. But it's not as simple as that because in the past some agreement may have been reached that trumps common law. If it was not recorded by changes in titles then it was only a personal agreeement and if the property or properties have changed hands since then the agreement may have ceased to have any enforceable effect. In other words, you'd be back to the common law situation or the default situation in the titles.

 

I'd start with an inspection of title. That will help inform your options. At one extreme you could be bound to repair the wall to continue providing support to a neighbour, at the other extreme yor neighbour could be liable in negligence for repairing or reinforcing the wall.

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