If a man does not leave enough room on his property when building his home, he cannot prevent his wall from becoming a party wall with his neighbor, who might build his home next to the wall by paying half the cost for materials and the land on which the wall is located. If this happens, the man who built the wall can ask his neighbor to help pay for the damage done to the other person's property.
In general, only the owner of a property can build a wall that will become a party wall. A wall constructed without a license from the local authorities cannot be a party wall. However, if the owner wants to create a party wall, they can agree with their neighbor before construction starts about how they will share costs and responsibility for any damage caused by the wall.
It is important to understand that being a party wall means that both owners are responsible for any damage caused by the wall, but it also means that they have a right to use part of the opposing property's space. In most cases, both owners will want to come to an agreement about where the wall will be placed on their property and how it will look. Sometimes, one owner may even sell part of their interest in the property with the wall on it to their neighbor so they do not have to deal with the maintenance or liability associated with it.
Party walls are common in old buildings where there are limited amounts of space.
Your neighbor's damage to your wall and erection of a building without your authorization amounts to annoyance in civil law and, most likely, criminal damage in criminal law. He can't go about drilling holes in people's houses unless they give him permission. And even if they do give him permission, he still needs a license from the city or town where they live.
The crime of burglary involves entering a dwelling without consent with intent to commit a felony or theft. Your neighbor's actions meet this definition; therefore, he has committed a crime. In addition to being arrested for burglary, your neighbor could be charged with criminal trespass if he remains on the property after being told to leave. Trespassing is defined as entering or remaining on land when you are not licensed or invited to do so.
If your neighbor does break in, get a police report number (this number will help officers identify properties that should not be entered). Keep a copy of the report in a safe place for three years; then request that the case be closed.
Annoyance damages are also called "nuisance" damages. To recover nuisance damages, you need to show that another person's acts have:
1 Interfered with your use and enjoyment of your property
2 Without your consent
If you reside in a semi-detached or terrace property, you will share a party wall (or walls) with your neighbor. Party walls often divide buildings owned by different people, although they can also comprise garden walls erected along a border, sometimes known as party fence walls.
A party wall is any wall that divides properties that back onto the same street or common area. Your landlord is responsible for repairing damage to these shared walls. If you observe cracks in your party wall or other signs of damage, contact your landlord immediately so that repairs can be made before more serious problems arise.
Party walls may be constructed of brick, stone, timber, or concrete. They can be interior or exterior walls. Interior party walls are usually load-bearing and provide structural support for rooms above them. Exterior party walls are usually non-load-bearing and serve primarily as a barrier between properties. They may contain window wells or other openings though which neighbors can pass messages or trade items without entering their individual homes.
The term "party wall" comes from its original purpose: to allow parties on both sides of the wall to celebrate together when someone bought a property with a room behind it. Today, these walls are useful when apartments are combined into one large estate, so that each tenant has his/her own private entrance but still has access to the common areas such as yards or gardens.
If you plan to do any building work near or on your shared property border, or "party wall," you must notify your neighbors. Party walls are constructions that are either independent or part of a larger structure that exist on the land of two or more owners. Do not constitute part of a structure, such as a garden wall (not wooden fences). The surface above a garden wall is usually flat, so it's easy to see where it ends and your yard begins. A party wall can be as low as one foot off the ground, so anyone walking by could stumble over it.
You must also get permission from your neighbors if you want to build anywhere on your party wall. You can ask them first, but if they say no then you can't go ahead with the project.
Party walls are common in older neighborhoods where buildings are close together. When builders constructed new houses in these areas, they often used the party walls as the boundary between their properties. This is called "in gross" property division and means that someone wins and someone loses. It is up to the parties involved to negotiate how much land will belong to each person after the wall is built or installed.
People sometimes think that anything built within their property line that touches the party wall belongs to them, even if it isn't intended for their use. For example, they might assume that if a tree falls into their yard, it's theirs to keep. This is not true.