2' high retaining wall Seeking some advice re who's responsible for the cost of rebuilding/repairing a low retaining wall (2' high) which is supposed to be on property line. (More than half of it has been pushed over, now at about a 30' angle)...

...The neighbour is on the upside. The wall is collapsing because it's been pushed over a dying tree on their side - the tree will be removed soon.

Hi D;

Retaining walls are usually built to allow builders/developers to conform to municipal drainage (grading) standards. As such they are *typically* built entirely on one property or another, and not straddling the property line.

I would advise that your first step is to confirm the exact *current* location of the wall - the full length of it - relative to the official boundary. Any surveyor can do this for you either as a new survey or a boundary stakeout. The rule of thumb is that whichever property the wall is on owns it and is responsible for its maintenance and repair.

I would then contact the city and find out what their perspective is on the situation. Most municipalities are quite diligent when it comes to grading and drainage requirements and they may have specific measures that you can/should take. 

However, it all starts with a definitive understanding of whose property the wall is on today which will determine the baseline for ownership and maintenance responsibility. From there the question of possible damage by the neighbour's tree can be considered.

I hope this helps.

The Protect Your Boundaries Team