Garden wall/ivy damage

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    Garden wall/ivy damage

    Hello all, apologies if this has been answered elsewhere but here goes:

    A neighbour's victorian-era garden wall had some ivy on my tennant's side of the wall. Our neighbours were pruning their side and found the wall to be damaged and are pushing me to pay for the repairs.

    A structural engineer was hired to examine the situation. He said that the ivy was helping to pull the top of the wall down but didn't give his opinion on whether this would have happened had the wall been in a good state of repair. The pointing seems rather poor and I am not sure I should be on the hook for the repair costs.

    Any ideas on who is liable for repairs? I can understand the neighbour's view but this is a very old wall. They are not very cooperative and always complain when we try to carry out routine mainentance such as tree pruning of their overhanging branches.

    #2
    Who own's the wall? If this is not clear then I would suggest 50:50 as you both benefit.

    Bear in mind if it is unsafe & causes harm there could be acclaim so you do need to get it fixed - and kill the ivy!

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      #3
      Thanks

      It's owned by the neighbour (or so we think). The ivy is gone already (we had it cut back by a gardener). Letting agent weren't very proactive telling us it was growing extensively. Still I am convinced that the wall wouldn't have been in peril had it been pointed in the last 200 years

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        #4
        Originally posted by Berty View Post
        Thanks

        It's owned by the neighbour (or so we think). The ivy is gone already (we had it cut back by a gardener). Letting agent weren't very proactive telling us it was growing extensively. Still I am convinced that the wall wouldn't have been in peril had it been pointed in the last 200 years
        if the wall is owned by the neighbour why do they think you should pay ?

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          #5
          Because our ivy was allowed to over grow and it's going to be a pain showing that we aren't to blame for the wall buckling

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            #6
            Sounds like an offer to share costs would be a sensible option BUT insist on seeing the quotes first.

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              #7
              thank you for taking the time to give your thoughts

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                #8
                Given the age of the wall they'd have a hard time proving it was your fault. Is there any area that wasn't covered in ivy so you could compare it?

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                  #9
                  If it's their wall and it's been damaged by your ivy, there is really only one route for them to pursue you to hand over money (other than you being nice neighbours).

                  You have done damage to their property and they want compensation for their loss.
                  For that claim to succeed, they have to show that you either caused it to happen (as in the case where someone drives into a wall and damages it) or were negligent about the cause of the damage, which would be the case here.
                  You would have to owe them a duty of care, which you probably do, the damage would have to be reasonably forseeable (which I sense you dispute) and is limited to the damage that your action or inaction actually caused.

                  Assuming that it's reasonably forseeable that the ivy would damage the wall, you would be liable for the damage since you planted it or allowed it to grow.
                  If it's not reasonably forseeable, you're only liable for the damage since you became aware it was causing the damage.

                  Either way, you're only liable for the damage to the area of the wall caused by the ivy and any claim would have to be adjusted for the period when there was no ivy damage.
                  So for a 200 year old wall, the cost of the damage is going to be fairly small,. even if the damage has happened over the last decade or so.
                  There's 190 years of wear and tear that are nothing to do with the ivy (and presumably a lot of wall that the ivy didn't touch).

                  So perhaps an offer based on the size of the damaged area and the time that the ivy was their burrowing into the mortar?
                  When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                  Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

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                    #10
                    Thank you for your very helpful responses

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