Who is responsible for repairs to a party wall?

UPDATED: Apr 6, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Apr 6, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Who is responsible for repairs to a party wall?

I live in a townhouse complex where the units share a party (fire) wall but other parts extend past the shared wall. Who is responsible for repairs to the extended part that only benefits one party?

Asked on April 6, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Virginia


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

First and foremost, party walls are usually considered a common area but you should consult any home owner's association bylaws and policies you may have. If you don't have one, then you need to understand you may need to consult an official survey on record regarding this party wall to ensure it is not indeed only on one's person's property (i..e, no mistakes in survey or conveyance). Then, if all is well with the survey, any extensions past that wall that are placed on it by one party but let's say protrude onto your property are considered encroachments and should be considered a trespass. Further, if that extension causes damage to your property, you have the right to take out (like a tree branch for example) any part that is on your property. If that extension causes damage to the wall itself, there is a good argument that one person's improvement actually compromised the integrity of the wall and though the wall is shared, it was that person's negligence that caused damages and that person should be responsible for the full repair.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption