Own mechanism for solving disputes over retaining walls near property boundaries

Hancock, Craig Ross (2015) Own mechanism for solving disputes over retaining walls near property boundaries. [USQ Project]


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Retaining walls can be an important and sometimes a necessary construction in subdivisions for maximising land use and dividing allotments both vertically and horizontally. When ownership of a retaining wall erected near a property boundary is unknown it can cause disputes to arise over which property owner should bear the burden of responsibility. There is minimal legislation available in Australia which relates to retaining walls on or near property boundaries and since most States do not consider a retaining wall to be a fence, it therefore cannot be covered by dividing fence legislation.

The aim of this research is to conduct a review of the current Australian legislation relating to retaining walls and to create a mechanism which outlines possible solutions for overcoming disputes which may arise over retaining walls near property boundaries.

Comparing and contrasting Australian legislation confirms that there is minimal information which can be used to create the own mechanism and therefore general land law, common land law, case law and legislation outside of Australia is also investigated. The key to understanding the current Australian legislation can be clearly seen from the outcomes of specific case studies and the observations derived from them.

Results showed that if the ownership of a retaining wall is not known, the purpose of the retaining wall and who benefits from the retaining wall should then be considered. The own mechanism takes into account the answers to these two questions and produces possible solutions which aim to determine the ownership and responsibility of a retaining wall which is on or near a property boundary with the desired outcome being to overcome neighbouring disputes. The own mechanism is designed to produce possible outcomes without changing the current Australian legislation.

It may not be possible to create solutions in which everybody is satisfied, however, procedures have been identified which work well within the current legislation and may minimise disputes which arise over retaining walls.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Bachelor of Spatial Science (Surveying) project
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Simmons, Shane
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2016 03:46
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2016 03:46
Uncontrolled Keywords: Retaining wall, Dispute, Boundary
Fields of Research (2008): 09 Engineering > 0909 Geomatic Engineering > 090904 Navigation and Position Fixing
Fields of Research (2020): 40 ENGINEERING > 4013 Geomatic engineering > 401303 Navigation and position fixing
URI: https://sear.unisq.edu.au/id/eprint/29233

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