If you live in a condo, rowhouse or another attached dwelling, you undoubtedly have at least one party wall. This wall is the one that straddles the property line between your unit and your neighbor’s unit. As such, the party wall has two separate owners: you and your neighbor.
According to Psychology Today, the relationships between neighbors are some of the more complex ones in modern society. Even if you are on relatively good terms with your neighbor, you eventually may disagree about something that relates to the party wall. How do you deal with these disputes?
A simple conversation
If your party wall requires regular attention, it probably benefits you to have simple conversations with your neighbor. Keeping an open dialogue about wall-related issues helps you to keep the wall in good shape. It also allows you to identify problems with the wall with enough time to address them.
A dispute resolution procedure
Talking may only get you so far, especially if neither you nor your neighbor is willing to budge. While you may not have looked over your party wall agreement since before closing, it benefits you to do so now. After all, the agreement may outline a procedure for dealing with disputes, such as mediation or arbitration.
You may be able to take legal action against your neighbor. Before doing so, though, you should be certain you have exhausted your options under the dispute resolution clause in your party wall agreement. If you try to sue too early, a judge may dismiss the matter.
Ultimately, because dispute resolution procedures can be technical and complex, it may be advisable to discuss your dispute with an attorney before taking any official action.