LawAnswers.com.au - Australia's #1 Legal Community

LawAnswers.com.au is a community of 10,000+ Australians, just like you, helping each other.
Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
Join us, it only takes a minute:

NSW Retaining Wall and Fence Issue - What can We Do?

Discussion in 'Property Law Forum' started by buckets, 10 August 2014.

  1. buckets

    buckets Member

    Joined:
    10 August 2014
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    We have almost finished building our house, our neighbour has just moved in yesterday. Their builder installed their retaining wall which upon completion several weeks ago. We contacted their builder and voiced politely our concerns about the lack of height and the builder said he would go and look at it. I assume he had workers do the wall for him and he had not seen it. We heard nothing from the builder again - nothing happened with the retaining wall until a few days ago when the fencer turned up to install the fence which we had verbally agreed to share the costs. However they were organising the fencer as the wall needed to be completed first. Upon speaking with the fencer, he also was not impressed with the height of the wall (i.e. there was easily another foot of soil above the height they did the wall to). The fencer was told by their builder to install the fence the wall was not changing.

    We are still intending to install underlay, grass and top dress our side of the fence and cannot level off to the level of the wall (why do we have to change our property because of their errors) as it will be below our buildings brick level. Any idea what we can do about this legally under property law? They did cut into the ground a long way - i.e. our ground level is almost at the bottom of their window sills.
     
  2. winston wolf

    winston wolf Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    21 April 2014
    Messages:
    343
    Likes Received:
    101
    I did a quick look around and it seems there are two issues to sort out.
    1. Where is the natural ground level.
    2. The fence shouldn't have been erected without your OK.
    If you want the retaining wall above the natural ground level that's your responsibility.
    If this is the case the builder needs to remove the fence then you extend the wall and the fence is then replaced.

    This is just my 2C.
     
  3. buckets

    buckets Member

    Joined:
    10 August 2014
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    how would I find the natural ground level? both houses were started approx. same time and both had moved the soil. but when they put the wall in you could easily see a foot of soil above the top of the wall on our side- higher side and our builder had not really touched the soil on that side of the house. the dirt that was there above the wall even had grass established and growing on it- so it wasn't like we moved the dirt and then said it wasn't high enough- what would happen if we continued with underlay, grass and top dressing and it washes into their property either now or into the future- who is responsible? it will be their property that is damaged- we are just trying to do the right thing.
    about the fence being erected- we had verbally agreed to pay half, but had on many occasions voiced our concerns with their builder about the wall height before the fence was erected- if we are not satisfied are we still liable for half the fence?
     
  4. winston wolf

    winston wolf Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    21 April 2014
    Messages:
    343
    Likes Received:
    101
    I just had look at a couple of council web sites (yours may have one).
    Both said if you cut into the natural ground level and are lower (your neighbor) are responsible to contain your soil .
    If you are on the high side and fill you are responsible to retain you soil.

    You may need a surveyor to confirm the natural ground level.

    You need to talk to your neighbor and not the builder.
     
    lawanswers likes this.

Share This Page

Loading...