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Neighbour's crumbling wall

(13 Posts)
GreenLeafTea Thu 02-May-13 15:47:28

I think I may well be in the wrong here but...

The other day I took my kids to the park near our house. On the way back we stopped to wait for DS aged 4 who was dawdling as always.

Suddenly a woman appears out of the house next to us and asks us not to pull at her wall. When I looked down there was a largish chunk of her wall on the ground. I asked DS aged 5 if he did it and the woman snapped yes he did. DS said he was looking for beetles. I apologized and DS also said sorry.

It's a smooth wall so I honestly don't know how he could have gauged a chunk of conctete out of the middle unless it was already loose.

We moved out of the way and DS's bike knocked against the wall and another bit broke off at the bottom.

The woman was really agitated trying to get the chunk back in and then she noticed the other piece and looked really angry so I quickly grabbed DS aged 4 and left.

The thing is the wall is next to the pavement so while he shouldn't have touched it, it really shouldnt be falling apart like that, should it? It might be dangerous.

We go to the park a lot so now I'm going to be worried every time we pass her house just in case more bits fall off.

Would it be really wrong of me to tell her to get it fixed? I'm not sure about the legalities of this sort of thing.

MaxPepsi Thu 02-May-13 16:01:27

She needs to fix it.

If it fell - for whatever reason - onto another person and the state of disrepair was a contributary factor she'll be in big trouble.

MomsNetCurtains Thu 02-May-13 16:46:02

Send her this It was horrible. No idea what her wall was like, but they do damage and worse when they fall or in high winds if they are unmaintained/old.

snuffaluffagus Thu 02-May-13 16:57:35

WAs it the plaster (ie a coating) on the wall or the actual fabric of the wall that was coming off? Doesn't sound safe if it's the actual wall!

Pendeen Thu 02-May-13 17:02:10

Loose render. ..

Provided it was at low level then no danger and if it's that friable then I cannot see any reasonable case being made against you or anyone else for damage.

If the render is loose higher up then yes it could be a danger as several kilos of render dropping on someone is very likely to cause injury.

Cravey Thu 02-May-13 17:04:48

You could send her a letter stating you feel it is a danger but be aware she can send one right back stating your son caused damage. If it fell for no reason she could be in big trouble however if it fell because your son was picking at it then so could you.

andubelievedthat Thu 02-May-13 17:06:26

Not in in this world could any child damage a properly maintained wall and if wall seperates a gdn from a public pathway the owner is on a "shakey peg" legally if any part of said wall falls onto a member of public/onto pathway ,the wall is here responsibility ,tell her to go raffle herself ,or ,put in a claim !

Cravey Thu 02-May-13 17:09:33

In fact wall owner could claim criminal damage. Would be a long shot but could be done. Of course op then goes back and claims injury damage for child etc but it could be done.

quoteunquote Thu 02-May-13 17:37:02

here for the expert advice

GreenLeafTea Thu 02-May-13 22:17:32

Thank you all. The chunk that came off was quite deep not just the surface plaster. I don't really want to sue her but I just wondered where we stood morally.

I have had words with my son about not touching the wall and will be careful.

I was worried the woman might want us to pay for the damage but honestly the problem seems pretty severe and way beyond a small child picking at it. I dont mind buying a bit of plaster to replace the chunk but I think the whole wall needs doing. I definitely don't want to pay for that.

Laquitar Thu 02-May-13 23:07:15

Is your son made from iron? How can a 4 year old damage a wall?

I wouldn't say anything to her i would just make sure my son doesn't touch it so that we dont provide the mad woman with an opportunity to blame us.

MidniteScribbler Fri 03-May-13 00:33:38

I'd sneakily try and get some photos of the wall where it's crumbling and shows how badly a state of repair it is in, just to keep on hand in case she tries to claim against me. Then cross the road every time you go down that street so you don't go near her wall.

I'd also be tempted to make a complaint to council (or whoever deals with that sort of thing in the UK). It's a hazard. Councils here would inspect it then send her a letter to repair or remove it. Three people were killed recently in Australia whilst waiting at a tram stop because of a construction wall that wasn't properly built.

Pendeen Fri 03-May-13 15:24:02


Your link was to a site which clearly states:

"Garden Law is for general information only and does not constitute professional advice."

so it's hardly "expert advice"

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