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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 116215
Experience:  Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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Question involves lateral support/adjoining landowners. We

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Question involves lateral support/adjoining landowners. We are uphill neighbor. We have an old buried wooden retaining wall along property line(on our lot). Adjoining neighbor excavated lowered grade and installed sprinkler system on his side. Now he is claiming that our soil is eroding on his property and wants us to pay for new wall. By excavating along wall and exposing old wall, we think he has caused much of problem. Who is at fault here?
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

If you did not make any changes in your land to alter the natural flow of water and there is a wall in place and he was the one who excavated, then his argument would be very weak in court. If there were no previous issues and you did not change your land to alter the flow of water, then the liability for what is happening to his land is his liability as the evidence would show his actions caused it.

You need to consider either negotiating with him to share the cost of the wall perhaps (only because that would be less than legal costs for the other recourse). If you cannot or do not want to negotiate this, then I am afraid you need a real estate litigation attorney to go to court on this for his altering the natural flow of water on his land and get the court to order him to pay for the wall and you would have to get a surveyor to come in as an expert to testify as to the causes of his actions resulting in the damage to his land.

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