Madison, WI asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Oregon

Q: In 2008, I bought a lot with a retaining wall built into an easement. That wall is failing. Can I fix / replace it?

In 1985, two adjoining lots were purchased within a new subdivision in the Town of Oregon, Wisconsin. The lots have a significant grade. The original owner built a house on the downslope lot. The back of the house faces the adjoining lot line, ranging in distance from 12 feet (near corner) to 20 feet (far corner). The original owner built a (wooden) retaining wall into the hill, and a (wooden) deck reaching from the back of the house to the retaining wall. The retaining wall is within our lot, is within the easement, and is approx 3 to 4 feet from the lot line. The deck covers a significant portion of the easement on our side of the lot line. Later, the two lots were sold separately. In 2008, I purchased the house lot (left). In 2012, the adjoining, unimproved lot (right)was purchased, and a house was built upslope from our house. Settling and drainage resulting from the upslope house (built in 2012) are pushing the hill down and damaging the retaining wall.

1 Lawyer Answer
Joanne Reisman
Joanne Reisman
  • Portland, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: You posted this question to Oregon Lawyers as in the State of Oregon. Try posting it again so it gets sent to lawyers in Wisconsin. Also, speaking generally as a lawyer (in Oregon), it sounds like the type of problem you really need to discuss face to face with a lawyer in an office. Justia is only meant for getting general advice to help look at problems from a legal perspective. It is not really meant to give you a definitive piece of legal advice in your particular situation. Lawyers would be at risk for malpractice if they didn't meet with you personally and ask enough questions to be sure they understand your situation before giving advice.

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