This can't be right?

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MaryS1 | 19:25 Wed 11th Jan 2012 | Property
14 Answers
My daughters neighbour has dug along the boundary approx 4 feet deep by 10metres which I believe has made her driveway very unsafe, including the boundary fence. The neighbour wants to take the fence down, build a wall under the fence which he wants her to pay half of, and then my daughter can put a new fence on top! Surely this can't be right? Surely he should build a wall on HIS side to retain the ground which makes up her driveway? Please help!


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It's his wall, so he should build it on HIS side, unless an agreement has been reached.
Technically, that trench should have been dug in sections of 2 metres or so, That is to say, a 2m trench, then leave 2m undug, then 2m trench etc etc.
Alternate short runs. They should be concreted and the retaining wall built up. Then the "undug" sections are excavated and brought up....... joining them all together. That's just one way of dealing with a retaining situation.

His choice to build it, so his cost. Same goes for any new fence. Some people do try these things on. By jeopardising the stability of her drive, he's well out of order.
Check on the deeds who owns the boundary fence...should be shown... also if the fence is post, arris rails and vertical slats the arris rails should be towards the fence owner. (ie. give the attractive side to the neighbour). Fully agree with MaryS1...the neighbour has a duty of care and is in breach as well as being cheeky.
My new wall is in the middle of my footings which were dug on my land..........the neighbour now has a few inches of my land at her side of the wall.
oooh the cheek of the man !!!!!...your daughter does not have to pay for anything..what's more she ought to be telling him that she may charge him for any damage he incurs to her property..
Just because the arris rails are on one side gives absolutely no confidence in who owns the fence - that may be a convention but it is not a requirement and definitely nothing to indicate a legal ownership.
Question Author
The neighbour says the fence is my daughters but land registry says it is a party fence. I also forgot to add, the neighbour is a builder & it has been left like this for about a year.
If it is a party fence/wall then your daughter's permission and agreement ought to have been asked for and granted...he has taken it on board do what he has done..his job..his responsibility..
OK, if you are in England/Wales looks like you are into an area of law covered by the Party Wall Act 1996. One of the provisions of the Act is to cover the 'party fence wall'. Contrary to its name, this does not mean a wooden fence structure that sits astride the boundary between two adjacent plots - it means a masonry structure that forms a wall between the two properties.
If the Party Wall Act applies, the adjoining neighbour should not have starting digging a trench on the boundary without proper formal notification to the adjoining owner. If the neighbour did this he has apparently committed a civil offence.
You don't say why the neighbour did this, or indeed why a wooden fence partition has such a deep foundation - though I assume it is because there is a difference in ground levels between the two plots. If so, this is a classic case of where the PW Act (in terms of the party fence wall) is intended to operate.
The PW Act does contain some legislation about sharing of costs in some circumstances - I don't know any more about this.
If it was not defined as a PW in the LR title, then under common law it is responsibility of the owner on the higher ground level side to maintain his/her boundary to prevent soil creeping onto the neighbouring plot - I have come across this situation before - but I am not sure what impact the PW status of the boundary has on this.
In summary: -
the neighbour should not have started work without informing you in writing (under the PW Act).
if you are on the higher side, it is probably your responsibility to prevent soil creep
probability best to try and negotiate a solution involving some contribution
do try, above all else, to avoid using lawyers in fixing this

Please come back if I've misunderstood the relative ground height arrangement.
Forgot the link to the PW Act booklet.
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Thank you all for your relies,
My daughter lives on the higher side and her neighbour dug down his side to build a house in his garden.
Before it was dug away the ground sloped away gently to the next property(The road is on a hill).
There was no wall, just an ordinary fence dividing the two properties. Now the foundations of the fence posts are undermined, the fence is starting to lean over and cracks are apearing in her concrete driveway. I can understand my daughter having to retain her own ground but not when the neighbour has removed the ground retaining my daughters land! Thus causing problems to my daughters driveway and boundary fence.
It just seems obsurd to me if my daughter has to foot the bill for any part of this!
If it's a house that he's building, Mary, then Building Regulations (Building Control) must surely be involved. Several times, I've had to reduce levels in this way to start a new build. Although retaining walls do not come under Building Control, on every occasion the Inspector has quite properly involved, to make sure no harm comes to next door........... we always take "before" pics as well, in case of dispute.
Local District Council Planning Dept ......... Building Control. I think you should ring them.
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She has done that already, they say it is a civil matter and need to come to an arrangement with the builder.
Well that's a dreadful attitude, Mary. Obviously, Building Control attitudes vary around the country. It's supposed to be standardised........ except for minor interpretations. You could use the services of a Structural Engineer to back you up.
So is this house still in the process of being built then?

How did you get on with reading the info in the PW Act booklet? - if it is a PW and he dug along it without giving notice, then he is already in breach of the Act. It is a civil matter but the best way is by direct negotiation.

The marginal cost increase of re-establishing this boundary in concrete to a builder who is already on site and set-up with groundworks contractor and materials supply to build a complete house is chicken-feed.

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