Jersey: No-One Knows Who's Paying For Trump's Wall – Do You Know Who's Paying For Yours?

Last Updated: 30 September 2016
Article by Ogier Global Investment Funds Team

Most Read Contributor in Jersey, September 2018

No-one knows who's paying for Trump's wall – do you know who's paying for yours?

Publication - 28/09/2016

This article first appeared in Places, September 2016 edition.

Many of us will have heard the recent claim by Donald Trump in the US presidential election that, if elected, he will ensure that a 1,000 mile border wall is constructed between the US and Mexico for an estimated cost of $5-10 billion to prevent immigration.

"And who will pay for the wall ?" (Trump)

"Mexico !!" (Crowd).

In fact the construction of walls and associated maintenance costs can be an issue in any jurisdiction and Jersey is certainly no exception.

Status of the wall.

A wall is either party owned (jointly owned by both neighbouring owners) or wholly owned by one neighbour or the other. In the former case maintenance and its associated costs is shared but in the latter case maintenance is the entire responsibility of the owner.

Many feel there is "power" in ownership but actually ownership of a wall is accompanied by responsibility. If there are structural issues these have to be remedied at the owner's expense and in the event of collapse the neighbour would not share any responsibility towards the rebuilding cost, unless the neighbour has caused or contributed towards the collapse.

It is important that any claim to outright ownership is accompanied by an access right onto the neighbour's property in order to maintain, repair or replace the wall (together with the right to take workmen, materials and, if necessary, ladders). Ownership often includes a claim to the adjacent "relief" or offset which is a strip of land of sixteen and a half inches in width on the "neighbour's" side of the wall which actually forms part of the property of the claimant. An "offset" provides a natural maintenance area but conveyancers prefer to see formal access rights because of its' limited width.

Joint ownership is more straightforward. In law the boundary between the respective properties is the centre line of the wall and each party contributes equally to the cost of its maintenance. No access rights are required and, for that reason, some find shared ownership preferable.

Any wall may be subject to a contractual height restriction.

Retaining walls

If your property has a retaining wall (a supporting wall) or is adjacent to a neighbour's retaining wall, ownership is likely to be claimed by the owner of the land it is supporting. Clearly, retaining walls have to be robust (often buttressed) and should be assessed with reasonable regularity in accordance with a surveyor's advice.

Landslip can be devastating and for that reason (a) the owner should ensure stability and that insurance protection is in place and (b) the neighbouring owner should take advice and also check the position with regard to insurance at the time of purchase.

Sea walls

For properties that border the sea shore, the adjacent sea wall is owned by the Public of the Island, as the sea walls were transferred to the Public by the Crown last year.

The Public owns the sea wall itself together with a "relief" or offset. Given that the footings of the sea wall are likely to extend underground for a greater width than the visible top part of the wall this tends to mean that a conservative view has to be taken as to where the boundary wall line may lie. The Public is now likely to decline to sanction the annexation of land up to the sea wall without a substantial payment being made, or for encroachments to be ratified at no cost.

Roadside walls

If the road side wall borders a parish road or a main road then the property owner will have ownership of that wall and be responsible for its upkeep and maintenance. If the wall falls into disrepair and requires replacement (or there is no wall and one is required) then the Parish or the relevant States department should be duly notified and matters progressed accordingly.

If the wall borders a privately owned road then its status (if not already defined) should be contractually agreed with the owner of the road and the access rights for maintenance purposes should be established.

The sale process.

Once a sale is under way, the seller's lawyers will provide the buyers' lawyers with a sale contract. The sale process usually takes 3-4 weeks, with the timeline often depending upon the buyer's mortgage arrangements. A buyer may decide await the survey result before proceeding (to save costs should the transaction fail) and, once the survey is received, should ascertain whether any issues are noted, structurally or otherwise, in connection with the boundary walls. If there are issues the buyer may elect to re-negotiate the price or seek advice about their legal status and any accompanying responsibility.

If boundary clarification is required the seller's lawyer will ask the relevant neighbours to be party to the sale contract in order to define matters to the buyer's satisfaction.

And finally

Matters in practice are rarely as straightforward as they may appear to Donald Trump. The above is only a brief summary of some of the issues relating to boundary walls in Jersey but we would highlight the importance of obtaining sound advice from lawyers, estate agents and surveyors in order to ensure that you are fully and properly advised, particularly during a purchase process.

If you already own your property and issues arises in connection with boundary walls then you should ask your lawyer to confirm the contractual position and, if necessary, point you in the direction of a recommended surveyor or other specialist.

Walls form a natural boundary and we should celebrate many of the splendid granite walls we have in Jersey, which greatly enhance the local landscape.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions