I Believe that my Party Wall is being Damaged by the Roots of my Neighbour’s Trees – Is he Obligated to Contribute to the Costs of Repair, either Partially of Fully?

by The Party Wall Surveyor

Question

I have a 3m party wall between my neighbour and me. The wall is leaning over towards my side very badly. It is out of plum by 16 inches from top to bottom and i am very concerned that it is in danger of collapse. I have spoke to my neighbour about the danger. He said he did not want to contribute towards the cost of rebuilding the wall as he had paid for the rebuilding of another part of the wall about 15 years ago when i was not the occupier and felt that this was my problem. My deeds show the wall to be a party wall.

I also believe that he wall is being damaged by the roots of his Leylandi trees which are situated approx 1.5m away from the wall on his side and have reached up to about 30 foot in height before he reduced them to about 20 foot as now.

Can you tell me if he is obligated to contribute to the costs of repair partly, or even full costs if his trees have caused the damage?

Answer

If you are confident that the wall is ‘party’ you should serve notice under Section 2(2)(b) of The Party Wall Act. The cost of the repair will then be divided in accordance with Section 11(5) of the Act i.e. depending upon responsibility for the defect or want of repair. If it can be shown that the roots of a tree on your neighbour’s land caused the problem then he would pay for the repair.

If you cannot agree then surveyors will have to be appointed to resolve the dispute.