Failing retaining wall on utilities easement shared with neighbors : HomeImprovement


We are going through inspection on a home in Southern California and are close to walking away. I’m looking for resources and guidance on a few options. There is a 4 ft retaining wall 110ft in length that runs a border of the property, that also is on a public utilities easement of 5ft on both sides of the property line (power lines). The wall is failing and will topple over at some point, bringing 2 neighbors yards into ours. We can’t find any permits for the walls when looking at records for the 3 property’s that border the wall, it’s very well that these were never up to code. Estimated cost to fix this wall is 30-50k+, neighbors have no interest in contributing, say it’s not their wall. The retaining wall appears to be built at two different times, different materials and the wall differed where the two neighbors property lines start, which makes me think the builders of the neighbors properties erected the wall. To make it even more tricky, the main contribution to the walls failure is a tree that is in the neighbors yard on the utilities easement pushing the wall over. The neighbors are not the original builders. I’m trying to consider options in the case the sellers do not fix it or offer us credit back to fix it ourselves.

How do I determine who the wall belongs to? It appears to be on the property line.

How do I find the rules regarding building on the easement?

Is there any legal recourse against the utilities company since the walls on their easement with the 3 properties?

Can I force the city to get involved and force them to address the issue?

Any general advice on where I can gather more resources or information is greatly appreciated.

https://imgur.com/a/VgTqPrv



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