Lateral Support Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Lateral Support, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Lateral Support?

(n) Lateral support is the implied support expected from the neighboring property against slippage, cave-in, landslide, flood etc such that any activity in the neighboring property shall not alter the situation prevailing then. For example, in a sloppy land, excavation of adjacent land may lead to landslide, in such cases a retaining wall or other arrangement must be made to protect the adjacent property

History and Meaning of Lateral Support

Lateral support is a legal term that defines the support that is expected to be given by neighboring properties, with regards to the prevention of landslide, cave-in, flood, or slippage, which means that any actions taken on neighboring properties shall not in any way affect the current situation. Historical evidence suggests that the term has been traditionally used to define the relationship of two neighboring properties, in terms of the responsibility for maintaining the structural integrity of their shared boundary or the adjacent walls.

Examples of Lateral Support

  • If a land is sloping and a house is built against it, the owner of the sloping land will be expected to provide lateral support to the house built right next to it.
  • If a neighbor decides to dig a swimming pool on their property, which is adjacent to another neighbor's property, then they must ensure that the wall and the ground adjacent to it are not disturbed, which would otherwise undermine or weaken the lateral support provided by the neighbor's property.
  • When excavating a piece of land, particular attention should be given to the depth of the excavation, to ensure that it does not affect the stability of neighboring land.
  • When developing a housing estate, the developers are expected to provide lateral support to ensure that the houses that are built do not affect the stability of the surrounding lands.

Legal Terms Similar to Lateral Support

  • Subjacent support: This legal term is used to refer to the support provided to neighboring lands from below.
  • Superjacent support: This legal term is used to refer to the support provided by a structure that is located above the neighboring property.
  • Party wall: It is used to define the wall that serves as a common boundary between two neighboring properties.
  • Encroachment: It is used to define the unauthorized use of another person's property by an individual or a group of individuals.