Duty of care owed by neighbours when garden wall collapsed (Court of Appeal)

The Court of Appeal has held that property owners owed each other a duty of care in circumstances where a dividing (and supporting) garden wall collapsed onto land that abutted the wall, which was owned by one of them.

In 2010, the wall collapsed following a heavy snowfall. The spoil from the collapse cascaded onto adjoining properties where it has remained for 4 years, this being the time taken for the case to reach the Court of Appeal.

Removing the spoil would be tricky as it could cause more land to cascade onto the adjoining property, the subject of these proceedings.

The owners of the collapsing garden were not liable in nuisance since they had neither created any nuisance nor continued it when they knew, or ought to have known, that their property constituted a nuisance or hidden danger to the adjoining properties.