We’re sorry to say that party walls aren’t walls where parties are hosted. Unfortunately, the definition is more boring than that. A party wall is just a shared wall between two residences. Let’s say you live in a townhouse, patio home, or condo, and you have a shared wall. Sometimes, late at night, when you’re trying to sleep, you can hear a party going on, on the other side of the wall. That’s the party wall.
What is a Party Wall Agreement?
Technically, both landowners share equal ownership of the party wall. Now, this is all well and fine until something goes awry with the wall. For this reason, we recommend you talk to your neighbor about the wall and form a party wall agreement. The agreement should state who maintains what portion of the wall. You can decide to create a party wall easement, meaning that one owner agrees to regularly maintain the wall. But this doesn’t account for severe damage to the wall. Make sure to talk about what will happen if something really bad happens to the wall.
Once you write the agreement, take it to the County Clerk’s Office. It will get filed amongst other important pieces of information about your property. This way, if something comes up, your bases are covered. Plus, if you sell your home, the new owner won’t have to figure out the wall’s details.
What’s The Point?
First off, it’s better safe than sorry, right? But, if you’re more of a risk-taker, you should still create a party wall agreement. If you’re trying to refinance your home your loan provider will probably want to see a party wall agreement. And having to last-minute rush to an agreement with a neighbor? Not great. Talk to your neighbor, come up with an agreement you’re comfortable with, and celebrate.
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