Do I have a responsibility to keep my hillside property, on which my neighbor has a Landscape easement, from collapsing?

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Do I have a responsibility to keep my hillside property, on which my neighbor has a Landscape easement, from collapsing?

We have a sloping hillside lot. Our neighbor above has a 50’ wide landscape easement across the top, also sloping. During construction of our home we excavated, but before we could install shoring of the bank an unexpected rainfall caused 20’ of the easement land to collapse. Now the neighbor demands we build a retaining wall and restore the landscape easement to its previous level. Do we have any responsibility to maintain the level of the easement? After all, we still have the right to use of the property. They only have the right to landscape it, and all that was lost was grass.

Asked on June 21, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Hawaii

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

It depends on what exact rights (based on statutes and case law) a landscape easement gives the neighbor. 

Contact your state's planning and zoning departments.  Further, try www.attorneypages.com and consult with a construction law/zoning/planning lawyer in Hawaii.  Check his or her record at the Hawaii State bar.


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