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Old 19-08-2007, 11:04 PM
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Retaining Wall...Who pays?

Hi all, just finishing a new house and it has a slight issue in that the house next door is about 2 ft higher than mine (Terraced Blocks).

Throughout the rest of the estate the developer has done sandstone rock retaining walls, but for some reason this one has not got one on this side, but has an earth ramp instead.

This appears to have been made worse by suspected dirt from neighbours yard cleanup being added to this ramp.

This will prohibit the mandatory tinny and 4X4 from getting up the side, which was the reason for the design and positioning of the house.

THE SOLLUTION was to get the bobcat to cut to the boundary line and then put in a 2 ft high railway sleeper retaining wall attached to the hardwood fenceposts that will be there for the 1.8m high fence, thus getting full width of yard back.

THE PROBLEM is to my way of thinking, the retaining wall will prevent the neighbours house from wanting to become part of my yard. As I don't want this to happen I feel it would be fair that they cough up half of the cost for the fence and the wall.

They don't seem interested and have the house up for sale on completion and reckon I should sort it with the next owner.

Meanwile I can't do any landscaping until the cut is done.

So before I dish up a "Dose of Dave", has anyone got any suggestions or thought's.

PIC details: Pink line: old heights
Red on slab : extra fill depth now
Green line: New ground height/cut depth
Red on ground: Boundary/retaining wall line





Dave
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Old 19-08-2007, 11:37 PM
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Hi Dave,

Nice to see that your place is coming along nicely.

Myself in your shoes.......Hmmm

Think it would need to be sorted with the existing owner of the property next door...........probably doesnt want to spend the dough......though in my mind half is fair enough.

ciao

Nor
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Old 19-08-2007, 11:57 PM
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Perennial problem.... dividing fences and retaining walls.

One way to get them to take notice is to lodge a caveat on their property.
Prevents them from selling or settling.
Speaking from experience of course...I had one lodged against me ( two in fact) over a retaining wall problem.

End of the day the argument can go on for ever and never, and in the end they will probably come to their senses and cough up half.

They are obliged to pay half for the fence, but the retaining wall can get a bit grey.
Whomever adjusted the 'natural' ground level is technically obliged to retain.
If you are on the lower side then it tends to be your problem.

If they are keen to sell then the ball is in your court and the caveat will definitely increase the pressure on them.

kp
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Old 20-08-2007, 09:47 AM
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As i understand it the owner of the lower house is responsible for retaining soil on their property and therefore the retaining wall, everyone is responsible for the fence AND the owners of the higher house are responsible for drainage from their place.

Now this drainage issue can cause a lot of headaches for the neighbours as they need to contemplate ag drains and connection to the main drain thingy which is usually not in a convenient place on their property soooooo at some stage if they put in drainage they may have to ask politely if they can connect to your water drain which if they have not been good neighbours previously can always be used as leverage for a bit of compromise.

Personally you could go to them and say look its going to cost me 2k for retaining wall, and by the way its going to cost you 1K for a proper drainage system and a lot of rooting around if you do it after the fact. Lets contribute together and get it done properly the first time.
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Old 20-08-2007, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by jasperjue View Post
As i understand it the owner of the lower house is responsible for retaining soil on their property and therefore the retaining wall, everyone is responsible for the fence AND the owners of the higher house are responsible for drainage from their place.

.
Except I am not retaining soil on my property, it will be retaining soil on their property.

I am simply getting rid of dirt that should not be there in the first place.

It is only about $900 extra so $450 each for the wall.

Dave
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Old 20-08-2007, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Norwester View Post
Hi Dave,

Nice to see that your place is coming along nicely.

Myself in your shoes.......Hmmm

Think it would need to be sorted with the existing owner of the property next door...........probably doesnt want to spend the dough......though in my mind half is fair enough.

ciao

Nor
Thanks mate, the place has charged along since yesterday

This is how it looks now.

Dave
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Old 21-08-2007, 05:03 PM
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Bump.................
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Old 21-08-2007, 05:11 PM
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Looking good! Where is it?
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Old 21-08-2007, 07:59 PM
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Sorry BB,

Completely missed your reply........

That place certainly got built quick...........

Doesn't look to bad either........except for that rusting junk pile in the driveway.............

When do you think you'll get it completely finished..........or is the fence / retaining wall issue stuffing things up slightly? Have you gone the bounce on the neighbours yet?

ciao

Nor


(is the wagon a CL or CM.........my old man still has his orange one..... )
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Old 21-08-2007, 08:26 PM
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Looking good! Where is it?
Last one for Rocky, and thanks.

Dave
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Old 21-08-2007, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Norwester View Post
Sorry BB,

Completely missed your reply........

That place certainly got built quick...........:

Doesn't look to bad either........except for that rusting junk pile in the driveway.............

When do you think you'll get it completely finished..........or is the fence / retaining wall issue stuffing things up slightly? Have you gone the bounce on the neighbours yet?

ciao

Nor


(is the wagon a CL or CM.........my old man still has his orange one..... )
Hoping for a couple of months fences pending. next door to the right is fine, he just did a timber picket fence the same as what the estate is after on his one acre block by himself with a mate to help,

He's got in and got all the uprights done, and a great job compared to the so called pro's and is only chasing 50% material cost

I'll help this weekend with the crosspeices and pallings.

Old mate over the back said put up what I like , he's doing colourbond so according to the law, I suppose he can do that, but at best I'll pay for half a wooden fence.

So really just the one next door who is trying to sell ASAP. holding me up.

I am waiting on a reply to my emails, they fein being to busy to speak whenever they turn up in the flash Benz dishing out the orders to the lackies, and definetly look down ther nose at me

Maybe they think I'm the caretaker as I drive such a crap car??
(it's all right Val, I love ya)

Car's a CM Nor, nothing flash, but loves doing miles and cheap to run on LPG.

Dave
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Old 21-08-2007, 09:22 PM
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Hi BoatBoy,

It appears that your neighbour's builder has created this issue for you when building the foundation for the neighbour's house to sit on. From what I know, when someone adds soil to their property, they have an obligation to retain it if it causing an issue to neighbours.

Secondly, here in WA it is the party that owns the soil that needs to be retained that is responsible for retaining it...all retaining walls and footings for retaining walls are required to be on their side, not yours!

Why should you have to deal with their overflow?

Cheers

Glenn
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Old 21-08-2007, 09:38 PM
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I agree with Glen, at least in WA it is the higher sides responsibility. Most subdivisions here now are flat with limestone retainers aleady done which is great and saves the mish mash of finishes too.

Something else, here you don't pay the neighbour for your half of the fence until the house is built and you move in. So if he hasn't moved in yet, maybe he doesn't have to deal with it just yet. Could the council let you know?
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Old 22-08-2007, 07:19 PM
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Well, spoke to Council and Building services today, both basically fobbed me back off to each other, but they think there is no legislation in place re: retaining walls in QLD.

Their suggestion, get solicitors involved pffft

It's annoying as the whole estate is as Tizzy describes, levelled blocks, and sanstone retainers, appart from this one block.

What makes it even more annoying was that it was a block that the builder had secured out of 5, and I actually had picked the higher block, but when the contract arrived, it had the wrong number on it.

I could have changed it at that stage, but why bother , they were all the same, and at that stage, they were still bush. Bummer.

Then the dude next door shafts the builder he got the block from and gets another builder to do his house

Apparently the principal of the REA is comming around tommorrow to see me and pass on my grievance to the developer, they are still developing land in the estate, so all the equipment and sandstone is still here.

He reckoned that the reason my block never got a wall was that it only had a low drop and did not warrant a wall, but the pic below shows lower drops than mine with walls.

See what happens tommorrow.

Pics,
1) neighbours on my high side, no retainer. New fill up to Red line on slab would now have level another 8 inches higher
2) neighbours on my lowside with retainer
3) another on RE.com with retainer

Dave
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Old 27-08-2007, 09:25 PM
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Developer playing hard ball, but we all agreed that the house next door was the problem.

They had built using waffle pod base so the slab sat on top of the ground about 2 ft, and then filled the site making it 2 ft higher on that side an then battering the fill onto my block.

The fall on their site runs the wrong way compared to the developers plan.

As I said earlier council didnt want to know when I mentioned retaining wall but today I was given the magic word to use...................... "EROSION".

Mentioned that I had an erosion problem with soil from the above property coming onto my land after recent rain, which it had, and they were all ears and have someone from "Local Laws" coming out tommorow.

Sick 'em Rex.

Might have some joy yet

Dave
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Old 28-08-2007, 07:42 AM
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We also had a small issue with retaining land on an IP. We had raised the level of a back yard but had kept the soil away from the fence line. However, over a few years, it had knocked the "retaining wall" that was already there over a bit more than it was already. This wall was about twelve inches high and made of old bricks, probably 60 years ago.

We ended up building a retaining wall and getting a bobcat to smooth the backyard which gives us a much better outcome for the long term, but what annoyed me was that the first we knew about a problem was a letter from council. We were on good terms with these IP neighbours, so was really annoyed they didn't call us first.

Council chap sided with us, and said it was no big deal, but we went ahead to avoid any future issues.

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Old 30-08-2007, 07:48 PM
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Found a document today, QLD building code part 10 Retaining walls and fill

http://www.lgp.qld.gov.au/docs/build...QDC_Part10.pdf

It clearly shows on page six that the soil ramp used for retaining should have started 1.5 m inside the neighbours bounary and ramped up to its current height, which would mean that the house would have been built on the other side of the block.

Instead we have the ramp having max height 1.2m, starting on the boundary, and coming down to zero 3 metres INSIDE my yard prohibiting side access.

Spoke to council, local laws, building services, enviromental services, the developer, the builder and "The Greedy Investor" selling the house and everyone is playing "Hot Potato".

"The Greedy Investor" was just plain rude.

I even got desperate and looked at putting a caveat on next doors property that would show up as an issue on sale, but legeslation has changed, prohibiting that.

Dead set, there should be more killing's.

Dave
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Old 30-08-2007, 08:08 PM
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How come when our neighbour complained to council we got a "please explain" letter but your council passes the buck? I'd be making more noise with the council.

Tell 'em you will be contacting ACA. Maybe then they might do their job.

Wylie
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Old 30-08-2007, 08:13 PM
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How come when our neighbour complained to council we got a "please explain" letter but your council passes the buck? I'd be making more noise with the council.

Tell 'em you will be contacting ACA. Maybe then they might do their job.

Wylie
I suggested that the developer had council in his pocket, it did not go down to well.

The developer is also the brother of the REA selling the development.

The developer is uber rich as well, so a retaining wall would be nothing, considering all materials and gear is here now doiing stage 3.

http://www.cascadegardensresidential.com/

ACA has been thought of thats for sure.

Dave
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Old 30-08-2007, 08:58 PM
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For the what it would cost to hire a bobcat and operator for one hour, you may be able to give your neigbour back his soil.....say, on the morning of the first home open or maybe auction day....on his front step.

Just a wicked thought.

Glenn
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