How To Draft a Parting Wall Agreement in a Few Easy Steps

Understanding the Parting Wall Agreement

A party wall is a shared wall dividing two residential units. It can separate:

  • Apartments
  • Condominiums
  • Gardens
  • Terraced houses
  • Buildings or parts of a single building
  • Semi-detached houses
  • Land belonging to two different owners

Since these walls have two or more owners, all of them must agree upon any related modifications. If you want to perform any construction work on a shared wall, you must sign a party wall agreement with your neighbors.

Writing a contract is a simple task for a lawyer, but it may be quite demanding for people who aren’t familiar with the law. We will explain the parting wall agreement inside out and show you how to compose any legal document with zero legal expertise!

Why Do People Sign Party Wall Agreements?

A party wall agreement is a contract between you and the other owner outlining the conditions of the planned wall alteration. Before starting the work, you should inform your neighbors about your plans. Once they give their consent, you can start to draft a contract outlining all the details.

There are no universal rules regarding party walls in the USA. The Supreme Court allows each state to come up with its specific regulations. This means you should check local legal requirements before you start considering a party wall alteration.

This contract can also establish general rights and regulations regarding the use of the shared wall, such as maintenance obligations.

When Do You Need a Party Wall Agreement?

Party wall works may involve various modifications, including:

  • Cutting of a shared wall
  • Alterations of the floors between flats
  • Excavation or underpinning works
  • Loft conversions
  • Changes in the thickness or height of the wall
  • Damp proof course insertion
  • Adding of a second-story extension
  • Removal of chimney breasts from the wall construction
  • Construction of a brand new wall instead of the existing one

What Should a Party Wall Agreement Include?

Bearing in mind that each state has specific party wall laws, the contract sections will mostly depend on the local legislation. Some details you will have to include regardless of the location are the:

  1. Names and addresses of both signing parties
  2. Detailed description of the expected works
  3. Estimated duration of the works
  4. Time limit for starting the works
  5. Working hours
  6. Surveyor’s fee details
  7. General condition of the affected properties
  8. Optional photos of the wall before alterations
  9. Drawings showing the specific details of the planned works
  10. Public liability insurance details

How To Create a Party Wall Contract

Below is the table showing the ways to draft your party wall agreement:

Legal assistance
  • It results in a valid and professional legal document
  • The services are too expensive
Online contract templates
  • They are accessible
  • Templates are usually free of charge
  • If they were posted a long time ago, they can be outdated
  • Their structure is too generic and can’t apply to specific situations
  • Modifications are limited to blank spaces only
Writing a contract yourself
  • You can personalize the contents as much as you want
  • Lack of expertise can make your document invalid or inaccurate
  • You must be acquainted with state-specific laws

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Read About Other Legal Documents In Our Knowledge Base

You can get informed about other commonly used contracts by reading our guides! and discover many useful articles about:

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