Are you responsible for maintaining a shared retaining wall?
  • Monday 04 January 2016

Are you and your neighbours unsure who is responsible for retaining walls between your properties?


Retaining walls are engineered to support built up (fill) or excavated (cut) earth. They are not normally a matter of joint responsibility for neighbours because a retaining wall is usually of more benefit to one neighbour.


The maintenance of a retaining wall is the responsibility of the property owner whose land the retaining wall benefits.


There may be circumstances where a retaining wall has been constructed on the boundary that retains fill on one property and cut on the neighbouring property. In these circumstances both neighbours will be responsible for the maintenance of the retaining wall.


Where there is a dispute over whether the retaining wall benefits one or both properties, the services of a registered geotechnical engineer and/or surveyor may be required to make an expert determination.


Council may have records of building approval for assessable retaining walls; however, building work for retaining walls may be self-assessable under Schedule 1 of the Building Regulation 2006 and therefore not require building approval.


For more information about retaining walls contact 5475 PLAN.