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Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 99929
Experience:  Lawyer
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I am building a new home and our street is on a 10% slope

Customer Question

I am building a new home and our street is on a 10% slope (right to left). The house above us built their house higher than the natural grade and ours is pretty much at grade (to the extent you can do that with a side sloping yard).
In order to retain their yard, they used a natural slope of dirt that they added to our lot that didn't exist prior to their construction (the builder provided building pads on each lot).
Do they have to provide retaining walls for their side yard or do I because I am building a new home (this is a new housing development that is almost complete). Does the answer vary based on who built when or does the law apply regardless of when a given house is built.
I realize that this is not always a simple question, however, what resources could you direct me to for further research including what additional information that is needed to adequately answer this question. I want to learn for any future potential issues.
Note that we are simply sloping the side yard to meet code to avoid a confrontation but it reduces the size of our yard.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.
You are right this is not a simple question and I assume that is why no one has chosen to answer.
Generally, if their property starts to fall onto yours then it is their job to stop it unless your excavation caused the problem.
But this is more complicated because this is a new development and the developer may have some responsibility here.
For this reason I suggest you start with by-law enforcement to see if any by-laws apply and from there you may need to have a face to face consultation with your own lawyer.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Sorry for the delay, I have been on holiday. Thanks for replying in some form but your response was what everyone else has been saying. When you talk to the city (by-law enforcement, inspection), they say talk to the developer or consult a lawyer. It becomes a circular argument. I was hoping that someone would at least point to case law on this but it seems that was wishful thinking. I am reluctant to rate your answer as poor as I know these things are tracked so I am inclined to just let it sit there as unfinished/unrated. That way you don't get dinged.

Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

I do get dinged if there is no rating. If you rate me with an OK rating then nothing happens to my stats one way or the other.

As well, my service is not poor because I say what others say. It means that my answer and those of the others you speak to are right.

Caselaw is not what you need and now how this works. No one is going to discuss caselaw at this stage.

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