Structural Defects

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stevie b
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Joined: 20 Oct 2008 14:08

Structural Defects

Post by stevie b » 20 Oct 2008 18:15

Hi Nigel

Articles and books are unanimous in the view that a builder/developer has a lifetime liability for structural defects of buildings. Does this apply also to reinforced retaining walls on boundaries? The developer insists that his liability for a long, 4m high retaining wall will end once title deeds are issued and from then on the wall is the responsibility of the state, because they will have approved it by the issuing of a Certificate of Final Approval. Also, I saw in a recent article in Cyprus Property News Magazine that title deeds may in future be issued without Certificates of Final Approval, so am confused about how that will work.
If the state does indeed become responsible for such walls and the wall fails, in the process causing damage or structural failure to buildings erected close to it, who is then liable for the damage to the buildings?

Steve



Nigel Howarth
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Re: Structural Defects

Post by Nigel Howarth » 21 Oct 2008 09:04

Hi Steve and welcome to the forum,

Yes, the builder has a lifetime liability for structural defects, including walls, but you'll have to prove that the problem was caused by his negligence, poor workmanship, etc.. Certificate of Final Approval and Title Deeds do not change this.

Take a look at http://www.aristodevelopments.com/index.html for some other residents having problems with their retaining wall.

What I suggest you do is:

- Write to the developer (copy to your lawyer) outlining the problems.
- Get the wall independently inspected and a report issued on its condition (I know someone in a similar position to yourself who I'll be seeing tomorrow. I'll get a name and contact details for you).

Then see what the developer has to say. If he refuses to budge, get legal opinion on how best to proceed.

I wrote a few comments against the story you saw in the Magazine - and I'm going to a seminar in Paphos next week on the issue of Title Deeds. Maybe I'll get a clearer picture of what's happening. The proposed changes are a bit like a curate's egg - good in parts & bad in others.

Regards,


Nigel Howarth
Independent information & advice for Cyprus property buyers
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stevie b
Posts: 6
Joined: 20 Oct 2008 14:08

Re: Structural Defects

Post by stevie b » 23 Oct 2008 16:58

Dear Nigel
Thanks for the advice and subsequent information. What a small world it is! I have made an appointment to see a solicitor, the rest has already been done.

Best regards

Steve



seenaramo
Posts: 1
Joined: 09 Oct 2010 20:54

Re: Structural Defects

Post by seenaramo » 09 Oct 2010 21:02

It is very important to have proper drainage behind the wall as it is critical to the performance of retaining walls. Drainage materials will reduce or eliminate the hydrostatic pressure and will therefore greatly improve the stability of the material behind the wall, assuming that this is not a retaining wall for water.



stevie b
Posts: 6
Joined: 20 Oct 2008 14:08

Re: Structural Defects

Post by stevie b » 10 Oct 2010 00:03

seenaramo wrote:It is very important to have proper drainage behind the wall as it is critical to the performance of retaining walls. Drainage materials will reduce or eliminate the hydrostatic pressure and will therefore greatly improve the stability of the material behind the wall, assuming that this is not a retaining wall for water.
Thanks for that. There are no drainage holes in the wall , unlike many similar walls in the area constructed by the same builder. In our case, new properties have been built below the wall so it is obviously unattractive to them to have drainage water pouring out of weep holes. I spoke to an architect who specialises in massive concrete structures like rugby and football stadiums and he said it was OK to have no drainage holes, so long as other measures were properly used such as French Drains. Unfortunately, by their nature these are hidden and their presence or absence cannot be judged by the naked eye.



clive of payia
Posts: 15
Joined: 09 Jan 2008 23:34

Re: Structural Defects

Post by clive of payia » 10 Oct 2010 11:27

Steve B. As far as I am aware, it is against the Cyprus Building Regulations, yes I know, to have drainage outlets that drain directly onto another property. Probably won't get you anywhere at the moment but when the day comes, yes I know, and regulations are enforced the owners will be forced to fill the drainage holes in and make other drainage arrangements, or the offending wall pulled down, or Demolition Orders are issued for the dangerous properties. One day, one day..........



Nigel Howarth
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Re: Structural Defects

Post by Nigel Howarth » 10 Oct 2010 12:41

Hi Steve

I see that your original question was posted nearly 2 years ago - have you made any progress?

You may not need drainage holes in the walls, providing they are built strongly enough. We have one wall that is more than 2 metres tall without drain holes. It's been standing for 6 years now without a problem.

Cheers,

Nigel


Nigel Howarth
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