NSW Payment for a retaining wall

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11 June 2024
Hey All,

I recently built a new home in a sub-divison which was built by a company home. Our contract excluded all site cost and landscaping.

Our block is on a large slope from left to right and follows the natural fall of the street. Our builder only excavated 1m passed the external perimeter of the building so on the left of my house I had a 600mm high section of land which spanned 3.5m to the boundary. To ensure ground level was beneath my slab/weep hole level I excavated the remaining section of dirt to the boundary and built a retaining which which on average is 1m high at the rear and goes down to 400mm at the front.

The retaining wall sits on the boundary, and the boundary fence sits directly on top.

At the time of constructing the retaining wall i had no details of the owner of the neighbouring property as it ws a new estate and blocks were being sold gradually and it was difficult to get contact details from council and the wall was required to secure my lot for obvious reasons.

I have spoken to the neighbour and he agreed to pay for 50% of the fence, but declined to pay for the retaining wall.

My question Is my Neighbour elegiable to pay for 50% of the retaining wall ?
My argument is that the wall is required for the support and maintenance of a dividing fence

PS: I received 2 quotes before proceeding with the works


13 July 2024

Your neighbor's obligation to pay for 50% of the retaining wall depends on local laws and regulations. Generally, if the retaining wall is necessary for the support and maintenance of a dividing fence, there may be grounds for cost-sharing.

In many areas, the law requires neighbors to share the cost of a dividing fence, but this doesn’t always extend to retaining walls unless they directly support the fence or benefit both properties equally. Given that your retaining wall was built to maintain your property's ground level, your neighbor might not be obligated to pay unless the wall also benefits their property or supports the fence significantly.

For a definitive answer, you should consult your local council's regulations or seek legal advice.

For professional retaining wall services, you can check out this website