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What should homebuyers know about party wall agreements?

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2022 | Real Estate |

Like many other states, Georgia has an extremely hot housing market. In fact, according to reporting from WXIA and the Atlanta Business Chronicle, home prices reached record highs in 2021. Real estate professionals expect the trend to continue, with prices jumping by another nearly 4% by the end of this year.

If a single-family home is entirely out of your budget, you may find a relative bargain in a multi-unit building. Still, rowhouses, condos and other multi-unit dwellings often have party walls. These walls typically come with party wall agreements, so you should plan to examine your property’s agreement before closing.

The nature of party walls

A party wall is a wall or another barrier that sits on top of the property line. Consequently, each party wall usually has two owners: you and your neighbor. Maintaining the property wall is in both of your interests, of course, as the wall may be structural or serve as a fire or sound barrier. It also simply may be a fence or another partition that separates your property from others.

The purpose of party wall agreements

The primary purpose of a party wall agreement is to outline each property owner’s rights and responsibilities. Your agreement may require you to maintain and repair your side of the property wall. It also may limit your renovation options, as you may be unable to modify the party wall.

It is not uncommon for party wall agreements to contain dispute resolution provisions. If your agreement has such a provision, you may have to go through mediation or another process to resolve disagreements with your neighbors.

Ultimately, because your party wall agreement may be full of legalese, it may be beneficial to seek a legal review of the document before you proceed with your real estate closing.

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