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February 24, 2019

Lateral and Subjacent Support

Word of the day

Lateral and Subjacent Support

The support a parcel of real property receives from the land ad¬joining it is called lateral support. It is not a right in the land of an adjoining owner, rather a right incident to ownership of the property entitled to the support. Subjacent support is that support the surface of the earth receives from its underlying strata.

The basic rules of support are the same for both. In essence, an adjoining landowner (or holder of mineral or other rights beneath the land of another) has a duty to support a neighbor’s land in its natural state. This duty of support does not run specifically to any of the improvements on the land but does impose liability for damage to improvements on the neighbor’s land if the land would have subsided as a result of a landowner’s excavation, even without the weight of the improvements. In general, a property owner can lessen any exposure to liability by giving neighbors adequate notice of intent to perform excavation work on the property so they can take the necessary precautions.

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