What does a party wall mean for your new home purchase?

On Behalf of | Aug 26, 2021 | Firm News

If performing the maintenance most single-family homes require does not interest you, you may want to make a condo or rowhouse your first home. Buying a dwelling in a multi-unit building may also allow you to work your way into Hartford’s hot housing market. Still, you are likely to have to contend with at least one party wall.

A party wall is a wall that straddles two separately-owned property lines. If you live in a condo or rowhouse, your property wall may be integral to the overall structure of the building. It may also act as a sound muffler or fire barrier.

Party walls affect property value

Regardless of whether the party wall holds up the roof or provides other structural support for the building, its condition directly affects property value. After all, multi-unit buildings need clear lines of separation between each unit. Consequently, you and your neighbors have a keen interest in ensuring the property wall remains to stand and in good condition.

Party wall agreements outline rights and responsibilities

If you are purchasing a property with one or more party walls, there is a good chance there is an existing party wall agreement. This legally binding contract outlines the rights and responsibilities of each property owner. If you want to renovate your property or modify the party wall, you must be certain your actions do not violate the agreement.

It is sometimes possible to renegotiate or rework existing party wall agreements. Ultimately, though, because the agreement may interfere with your homeownership goals, you should read and understand it prior to closing.