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Who is responsible for maintenance of a retaining wall which

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is on the boundary between...
Who is responsible for maintenance of a retaining wall which is on the boundary between 2 properties ? I own a Single Family Home in San Francisco, CA. Our street is on a gradient. Our backyard is about 4' higher than our neighbors. There is a retaining wall which runs along the property line just below the fence and holds back the soil from my property's garden. The retaining wall needs some maintenance. Who should pay for this ... Us, Our neighbors or Split ?
Submitted: 1 month ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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Answered in 27 minutes by:
11/4/2017
Real Estate Lawyer: Seattle Scott, Lawyer replied 1 month ago
Seattle Scott
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,001
Experience: I have 25 years experience as a Washington State Real Estate Attorney
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Usually a retaining wall is installed by the "up hill" owner and the wall is probably actually on your property rather than sitting on the property line, and therefore probably your responsibility. But you would have to research which prior owner installed the wall, by looking at old building permits or old assessor's photos or having your property surveyed to find out where the wall was relative to the property line.

If the wall can be changed during a repair in some fashion that would benefit your neighbor (such as make it look better from the other side) that might be a method to get neighbor to pitch in on the repair cost. But legal obligation to contribute to repair cost by either neighbor can't be determined without more information.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thanks, ***** ***** property pays unless we can dig up something suggesting otherwise.
Real Estate Lawyer: Seattle Scott, Lawyer replied 1 month ago

Yes, but the "up hill" rule is just a presumption, so I encourage you to investigate further in line with the cost of repair.

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Real Estate Lawyer: Seattle Scott, Lawyer replied 1 month ago

Let me know if you need anything further.

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Seattle Scott
Seattle Scott
Seattle Scott, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
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