How to force neighbour to remedy
It may be possible that the owner of a neighbouring plot has a construction, house or a wall on his land which is in a dangerous condition.
Perhaps it is so dangerous that it could fall down or collapse potentially causing damage to your property or even to yourself or other people or possessions such as cars.
In such situations, the neighbour is obliged by law to take action to ensure the conservation and proper maintenance of whatever is built on his property and must either demolish or repair any structure that is in danger of falling.
This obligation of the owner is reflected in article 389 of the Spanish civil code that says:
If a building, wall, column or any other construction threatens ruin, the owner will be obliged to demolish it, or to carry out the necessary works to prevent its fall.
If the owner of the dangerous construction does not do the works, the Authority may demolish it at the owner’s expense.
Therefore, if your neighbour has a wall on a neighbouring plot that is dangerous and threatens to fall, you can request and even force him to proceed with the demolition of the wall to resolve the problem.
If however, it is not possible to demolish a wall, for example if it is a retaining wall, as this could cause a landslide, you could force the neighbour to carry out the necessary works to ensure that the fall does not occur.
In addition, if the neighbour refuses to do so, he could be legally forced to allow the works to be done by a third party, and be responsible for the costs of the work.
In this regard, it is useful to highlight court decision number 1361/2018, of the appeal Court of Gran Canaria, which confirms:
1) That there is a danger to third parties, endangering the person or property of third parties.
2) It must be a danger of collapse or fall, that is, a true and real danger of falling, not a mere situation of deterioration that at some time is expected to result in a possibility of fall.
Thus, in this judgment, the judge points out that there was an obligation for demolition or other remedial works to be taken by the owner of a wall which was in poor condition that threatened to collapse imminently.
It is therefore the responsibility of the owner of the property which has the problem to maintain the property or arrange its safe demolition, in order to avoid its collapse which could cause damage to the neighbour’s wall, with the consequent danger to people and things.
If the wall, property or construction of your neighbour threatens to collapse and cause damage, and you want legal advice from expert lawyers, contact us and we will help you.
The information provided in this article is not intended to be legal advice; it simply transmits information related to legal issues.
Carlos Baos (Lawyer)
C/Diana 19, 2º D, 03700 Denia (Alicante) Spain
Tel. +34 966-426-185 Fax +34 965-784-471
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