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What do you need to know about party walls?

On Behalf of | Jun 27, 2021 | real estate law

With the real estate market booming in and around Denton, you may be looking for ways to maximize your budget. If you cannot afford a single-family dwelling or have little interest in owning one, investing in a rowhouse or condo may help you turn your homeownership dreams into reality.

While purchasing a residence in a complex may be good for your budget, you are also likely to share some spaces with other homeowners or renters. You may also have a party wall to maintain.

What is a party wall?

A party wall is simply the shared wall between two separately owned residences. Your party wall may be structural or aesthetic. It may also serve as a fire or sound barrier. Outside your home, a party all may be something as basic as a fence that straddles the party line.

Why are party walls important?

As Robert Frost noted, good fences make good neighbors. For both owners of a party wall to be good neighbors, they must keep the party wall in tip-top shape. This is particularly important when the party wall serves some purpose beyond aesthetics. After all, if either owner damages the party wall or fails to maintain it, the other owner is likely to suffer financial harm, physical injuries or both.

How do owners maintain party walls?

Typically, a party wall agreement outlines each owner’s rights and responsibilities. According to reporting from SFGate, there are many ways to enhance a party wall to make it better suit your needs. Nevertheless, before tinkering with the wall, you must understand exactly what the party wall agreement says. This is likely true even if you want to improve it.

While knowing the language of your party wall agreement may keep you from offending your neighbors, you ultimately may discover the agreement does not meet your needs. Fortunately, if necessary, you may have some options for reworking the language of the agreement.