Unless you are lucky enough to live in a single-family home, it is common for homes to share at least one separation wall with each other. Although the owners do not pay attention to it, this wall can be owned by one or the other and can even be bought. It’s called median.
A party wall is a wall or wall that separates two properties. They are usually walls that, at first glance, do not give the sensation of being anything more complicated than that, a wall itself. But in the case of party walls, these usually belong to only one of the owners who share a wall and not to both. The difference is that for one of the owners this wall is part of the house on his property and, for the other, it is simply the boundary that adjoins his property, even though he enjoys it.
In the past, it was common to take advantage of the existing wall when constructing a building, since this way resources were saved. The neighbor who built new ones reached an agreement with the owner of that wall that they were going to share. It happened mostly in semi-detached town houses or in very old buildings.
How can I know if a wall is a dividing wall?
To detect a dividing wall, it will be necessary to speak with the architect or property developer who built the house. They will give us the necessary information about the cadastral value of the property and they will inform us about the existence of this type of dividing walls.
The problem can be realized when the buildings are very old. When demolishing this type of property, the wall that is visible to all usually maintains the original tiles of the initial house, which means that we are dealing with a dividing wall. To find out who it belongs to without tearing down walls, you will have to go to the cadastre or the Registry.
The dividing wall always belongs, with very specific exceptions, to the original neighbor. That is, this wall is part of the house that was built in the first place and, therefore, belongs to the owner of said house. In his day, it was he who had to bear the costs of building this wall, although another owner later also enjoyed it.
This property gives the right, even for example and if the owner of the dividing wall wanted, to make reforms in his house if it is necessary to tear down that wall. In any case, at such a point it would always be necessary to talk with the neighbor before the problems start. The most convenient thing is to reach an amicable agreement so that the work does not pose an inconvenience to either of them.
Although now the dividing walls are managed, in many cases, as if occasionally by associations of neighbors, so that none of the beneficiaries of that wall can hinder the use and enjoyment of the rest, it is possible that there are still medians with a single owner.
Can you buy the medium wall?
The party right is a right by which both neighbors who share a wall are on equal legal terms with respect to their wall or dividing wall. In this way, given the need for works in any of the properties, the rest of the owners will not be legally helpless; although this right also entails responsibilities such as making good use of the dividing wall.
This right to median can be purchased. The procedure is somewhat simple, since the dividing lines of the wall must be studied in depth, to what boundary they belong, if they belong to the neighbor’s farm… Here it will be necessary to have the help and advice of experts in this matter of housing and law civil.