Retaining Walls and Boundary Fences

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Forums Repairs and maintenance Retaining Walls and Boundary Fences

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    Frances Rodger

    Hi Amada,

    I have some confusion over who “owns” the repairs and maintenance of retaining walls that form a boundary with a fence on it, between a strata and a neighbour.

    I have done some googling and the Dividing Fences Act seems to indicate that this is a 50/50 share, however some blog posts seem to indicate that the wall is the responsibility of the owner who’s land is being retained.

    We have a six lot property that the neighbour has requested our strata to share cost to repair the retaining wall even though the fence is fine. Our strata is on the low side of the wall and do not feel that this is our responsibility to maintain. is this correct? or are we obliged under the Dividing Fences act to share the cost.

    Amanda Farmer

    Hi Jessica Rabbit,

    Straight up: I don’t know the answer to this.

    It is also not strictly a ‘strata law’ question so I’d need to do some research to ensure I have the law on dividing fences/retaining walls straight. As you’ve picked up from your Googling: it’s not straightforward.

    Even with the knowledge of the law, I anticipate it’s going to be hard to answer this one accurately within the confines of this Forum. I’d need to see survey plans.

    You mention ‘the fence is fine’. If there’s nothing wrong with the fence or the retaining wall, I anticipate your neighbour will have trouble forcing you to contribute. At some stage you may need to get an expert opinion, confirming (in a written report) that there is nothing wrong with the fence and/or wall.


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