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Devastated couple billed for $350,000 after wall collapsed in their pool

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Huge boulders plunge into couple’s backyard and now they’re stuck between a rock and a hard spot because an insurance company doesn’t do anything about it

  • Dave Barnham and his wife Tia said a ten-foot wall had collapsed in their swimming pool
  • Now the pair is looking at $350,000 bids to rectify the situation
  • However, they cannot continue with work until their neighbors have applied

An irate Brisbane couple have revealed how they waited seven months for help after a shared rock wall collapsed in their swimming pool.

Murrumba Downs resident Dave Barnham and his wife Tia said they used to have a manicured backyard and a glittering pool.

In February, however, a ten-foot wall in their pool collapsed after the city was hit by its worst rainfall in years.

Now they’re looking at $350,000 bids and saying their backyard looks like a construction site.

It’s considered a danger zone, but they can’t fix it until a neighbor who lives above them hears about his insurance company.

Dave Barnham and his wife Tia said the 10-foot wall collapsed in their swimming pool in February after the city was hit by its worst rainfall in years

“We actually looked out the window and just heard and saw it go right into the pool,” Mr Barnham said A current matter.

“Just saturated that one area until it couldn’t hold any more and then the boulders literally flew out.”

The wall is shared by two properties, but the Barnhams bear the brunt of the damage.

Mrs Barnham said ‘patience is very thin’ for them.

“We are ready to sign a contract to start the works, and unfortunately we cannot proceed until we know how our neighbors will proceed as the works are also taking place on their property,” she said.

But even if a contract was signed today, the couple said work would not begin until the middle of next year.

They said they immediately contacted their insurance company, Youi, and received reports from geotechnical and structural engineers.

“Essentially, that retaining wall created a dam,” Mrs. Barnham said.

“The water has been dammed up behind that wall and has seeped through the drain of that wall and also up the stairs above.”

The wall is shared between two properties, but the Barnhams bear the brunt of the damage

The wall is shared between two properties, but the Barnhams bear the brunt of the damage

One report found that high drainage, which was likely the overflow from three water tanks on the neighbor’s property, and channeling water to the stairs led to the wall collapsing.

Another report found that the collapse was caused by swampy ground, lack of drainage and compromised stability.

It was also determined that the wall was not built to Australian standards.

“If it gets worse, rocks will get closer to houses,” Mr. Barnham said.

Chris Price, 72, lives in the house next door where the communal gate is bent and he is concerned about his house.

“My bedroom is literally two to three meters from the retaining wall,” he said. “It’s been seven months now and nothing really happened.”

He filed a claim with his insurer, Suncorp, voicing concerns about the rock wall’s structural integrity.

Suncorp responded that retaining walls are not capped, but it has a legal obligation to make it safe.

“It’s been seven months now and nothing has really happened,” Price said.

Neighbor who lives above the Barnhams, Bill Small, says he is still waiting for a response from his insurers.

“It’s in the hands of my insurer and it will stay there until I get further notice,” said Small.

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