Neighbor's rock wall fell into our yard

pinkpaulaFebruary 27, 2013

A 10' section of our neighbor's 80 year old, 8' tall rock wall fell over into our yard after heavy rain and wind the night before.

The wall was built WITHIN the neighbor's property line. The wall was cracked in several places and has needed repair for years. They had been told by us as well as by various construction workers that the wall was leaning and in danger of falling. They did nothing.

Now that money has to be spent to rebuild the wall, the neighbor has outright asked us if we are going to pay for half of the repairs. We said we were not willing to do that. It is, after all, his property.

Now, he is angry and has hired a worker to fix the damage. We hate the tension, but we feel we are right.

What do you think?

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christopherh

It's his wall. He's trying to bully you into paying. He'll get over it. But make sure he pays for any cleanup on your side.

This may be for nothing, but take some photos of the wall that's down on your property.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 7:18AM
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brickeyee

"This may be for nothing, but take some photos of the wall that's down on your property."

And see if you can find some photos (or written evidence) tat the wall was in poor condition.

Since it was on HIS land it is HIS wall and HIS problem to restore it.

It would likely be different if the wall was on the property line (and thus shared, make SURE you know whose land the wall was on).

Do not let them extend footers onto YOUR land, make HIM give up land if wider footers are required.

There is very likely to be damage to your landscaping even if it is just grass from the wall collapsing and the repair..

You may need to get your insurance agent (and maybe an RE attorney) involved to pressure the neighbor through HIS insurance agent & policy.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 1:42PM
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Zagut

His wall on his property.

His responsibility.

Let him deal with it.

Deal with your side yourself.

Things happen in life.

No need to increase tension.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 4:18PM
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pinkpaula

We did take pictures of the fallen wall right after it happened. There is no doubt that the wall was built on the neighbor's property.

Since my original post, the rock wall has been repaired by the neighbor at his expense and, beyond some mud (which should wash away) and a few squashed shrubs, no damage was done to our yard. However, only the fallen section was repaired; the rest of the stone wall is leaning and cracked. We anticipate more sections of the wall will fall in time.

We took more pictures after the repair, clearly showing the remaining damaged areas of the wall. We haven't spoken to our neighbor,yet; but we hope feathers will cease to be ruffled soon.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 4:57PM
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Zagut

What's his is his and what's yours is yours.

Don't expect him to make every blade of grass on your side of the "line" perfect.

The future is exactly that. The future.

Deal with it when it comes.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 2:50PM
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brickeyee

"The future is exactly that. The future.

Deal with it when it comes."

There are specific legal remedies that sometimes depend on providing 'notice' to someone.

A tree falling on your house is one.

The most common law is that you pay for your damage, the neighbor pays for his damage for his fallen tree.

One exception is made if the tree is weakened from disease, damage, or being dead and you have provided notice that it is a hazard to your property.

Then the tree owner is on th hok for ALL the damage.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 4:01PM
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daveho

I'd be concerned about the unrepaired part. What if it falls on someone? An 8 ft tall rock wall will surely hurt or even kill someone. You neighbor is being irresponsible & is setting himself up for a future lawsuit if you ask me.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 3:32PM
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azzalea

You do need to send him a certified letter, with copies of the photos showing the damage/danger of the rest of the wall, and stating that it needs to be repaired. That way, you have proof that he was on notice about the dangers and it gives you a leg up.

It really wouldn't hurt to sit down for 10 minutes with a RE attorney, just to make sure you're covering yourselves in this case, because it sadly sounds as if this won't be the last incident you have with this neighbor.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 11:16AM
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