The last thing you want as a homeowner is to discover that your neighbor’s retaining wall has fallen onto your property. Unfortunately, this type of problem is more common than you might think. Accidents are bound to happen, or it could be a case of negligence on the part of your neighbor. No matter the cause, you need to know how to respond in such a situation for a positive outcome.
Your first priority should be your safety, followed by securing any affected property and taking the necessary steps to protect your legal rights. Here are some steps you should take when a neighbor’s retaining wall falls on your property:
- Check for any damage: This includes assessing the extent of any damage, checking for structural damage, and looking for potential hazards.
- Notify your neighbor: Your neighbor should be aware of the situation as soon as possible and take responsibility for the incident.
- Record all relevant information: It’s essential to document any damage or lost property and the details of the incident.
- Contact your insurance company: Your homeowner’s insurance should cover any repairs or property damage if the incident was caused by your neighbor’s negligence or an accident.
- Contact a lawyer: If there is a dispute over who is responsible for the damage, seek legal advice. An experienced attorney can evaluate your case and advise you on how to proceed.
Q: Who is responsible for a retaining wall between properties?
A: If the retaining wall is on your neighbor’s side, they will most likely be responsible for its upkeep, repair, or damage. However, if it’s on the property line, you need to agree on whether you’re both accountable for the damage.
Q: Is my homeowner’s insurance responsible for my neighbor’s retaining wall falling on my property?
A: It’ll depend on your policy, but typically insurance will cover any repairs or property damage caused by an accident.
Q: When should I be worried about a retaining wall?
A: The three most common signs of a retaining wall in distress are cracking, bulging, and leaning. If you notice any of these signs, you can help prevent further damage by informing your neighbor immediately, so you can take the necessary action.
Q: What to do about a neighbor retaining wall falling on my property?
A: Whether the retaining wall is built of block, stone, wood, or concrete, it can begin to crack and lean. If the wall fails and starts falling onto your property, talk to your neighbor and decide to either demolish the wall, re-install drains and rebuild, re-excavate, or call a local foundation repair specialist.
Q: What if there is a dispute about who is responsible for neighbors retaining wall falling on my property?
A: In this case, you should seek legal advice from an experienced attorney. Take pictures and record any relevant information to help your case if the matter ends in court.
Having a neighbor’s retaining wall fall onto your property can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. It’s vital to take the necessary steps to protect your safety, secure your property, and protect your legal rights. Doing this will help reduce the stress and make it easier to manage the situation.