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Party Wall

DEFINITION

As it pertains to Real Estate, the party wall is a wall that is the physical dividing line between two units, rented or owned, that is shared between the two. These “Party Walls” is typically found in apartment complexes, condos, and office buildings. In essence, it is a wall that divides two parties that share the same, and often times there is more than one Party Wall in the same buildings, with the exception of duplexes that usually just have one. Now, these walls don’t have to be built into the structure but nine times out of ten they are. Either way, there is a party wall because most jurisdictions enforce laws that require a Party Wall be constructed between residences or commercial spaces.

EXPLANATION

While not this is not true of all party walls, some are made with added insulation, so they neighboring tenants do not disturb one another. On top of that, certain areas have building codes that require said party walls be made into fire walls. This means they are made with material that is fire resistant. A fire wall must be built from the floor to the ceiling to prevent the spread of a fire as best as possible. This is not only safer for the occupants, but it also prevents further property damage on a larger scale.

Agreeing To Party Walls

Otherwise known as a Party Wall Agreement, this sets down the rules to maintenance and the ownership that each tenant is obligated to for a shared wall. The trick to the party wall agreement is to obliviate disagreements between tenants before they even happen. The rational principle behind the party wall agreement is to state that each tenant or owner officially owns half of the shared wall. They are even given an easement to help support the shared wall of the structure. The idea is to prevent pricey legal disputes and other litigation as it pertains to the shared wall or party wall.

The Overall Usefulness Of A Party Wall

This is a precious tool for businesses and property owners alike. It’s not just about avoiding nasty legal disputes over a shared piece of property. You also need to maintain the shared wall to keep the building up to city, county or state code. A party wall agreement really isn’t even that complicated. It’s all about legalities, yes but it is simple when you look at it as a whole. One party agrees to take care of their half, and the other takes care of the other half. They don’t damage the wall or breach the wall in any way that would break the agreement and if they do it is on them, not the non-offending party.

No alterations can be made to the wall without both parties consenting to it and it being written in the party wall agreement. If one tenant damages the wall the other is not responsible for said damages. It might be called a “Party Wall,” but usually it keeps two groups from becoming the mess that occurs after a large house party.

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