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VIC Retaining Wall Needed Because of Builder Error - What to Do?

Discussion in 'Property Law Forum' started by NeilMc, 25 April 2015.

  1. NeilMc

    NeilMc Member

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    I am building a new home in Melbourne. The site levels on the builder's plans do not match the actual site levels on my land. As such, the builder has excavated considerably more than the building plans specify.

    This has resulted in a need for a retaining wall solution that I wasn't expecting. The retaining wall needs to be 3m high and 16m long, so considerably expensive with limited options.

    The building contracts states that retaining walls are my responsibility, but I wouldn't need a retaining wall if the building was built according to the plans. So is the builder at all liable for the retaining wall that I now need to build? And is my neighbour required to contribute to the retaining wall that will be keeping his house from subsiding?
     
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Hi NeilMc,
    Technically, if you contracted with the builder to build your house according to approved plans and the builder has not followed the plans, then they have breached the contract. Your remedy at law would be damages sufficient to place you in the position you would have been in had they performed the contract correctly. Therefore, any additional works that need to be done because of their failure to follow the plans properly, is arguably an expense they should bear.

    However, depending on how much the wall will cost versus the expense of legal proceedings, I would be negotiating with them to be best of my ability to come to some compromise. As to your neighbour's involvement, it gets complicated when deciding who pays for what when a retaining wall is required to support numerous properties. Check out this info on the Legal Services Commission page, it may assist you to figure that question out.

    Retaining Walls
     
  3. NeilMc

    NeilMc Member

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    Thanks Sophea.
     

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