Confrontation Over Retaining Wall

DSCN1214Property line issues can wreak havoc with neighborly relations. This is a case in point. Most of us get on with our neighbors, mostly because we don’t have financial disputes with them. In this case, a basically cordial relationship between neighbors is threatening to turn into a raging confrontation over a retaining wall and fence on the property line. The owner of the house on the left, as many owners like to do, did some work to improve his property. Unfortunately, this seems to have caused some movement of the concrete wall you see.

DSCN1211Now, this is a very old wall, and not “structural” in the sense we think of today. It had moved in the past, and cracked. However, the neighbor’s work caused the wall to move noticeably, and with increased cracking. The case is complicated by the fact that the wall is actually 20 inches to the right of the property line (a survey was done) so the fence you see was actually constructed on the wrong property by the neighbor on the left.

DSCN1207CSES Engineering can provide design for a replacement wall, but cannot help with the other issues. I have not followed up on this, but I am hoping that the two neighbors will realize that in this situation, really no one is at serious fault, and the best solution is to agree on a way to resolve the problem, preferably without the huge expense of lawyers. A lawsuit could cause both neighbors to spend more than a new retaining wall would cost. But people are people, and only time will tell us if they could rise above.