Noisy neighbors. Most of us have experienced them once or twice or even heard horror stories from friends or relatives. A noisy neighbor could simply be a nuisance. Or a noise neighbor can ruin your entire home life experience. Many believe little to nothing can be done. However, when it comes to purchasing a house or other dwelling with a shared or party wall, there are several things you should note – like the potential for noisy neighbors.
What are party walls?
SF Gate takes a look at party walls, what they are and how they can impact homebuyers. First: a party wall simply refers to any wall that divides your property from another, wherein both properties share the same wall. By technicality, a fence could also fall under this category. More often, it describes dividing walls in a condo, duplex, apartment or other related housing structures.
Party walls may sometimes serve a functional purpose, having additional material inside to help isolate sound. After all, as mentioned above, one noisy neighbor can hinder the quiet enjoyment of your home.
How should you treat them?
However, a contract involving shared party walls typically include specific language and stipulations. It is always important to read over a contract or purchase agreement carefully before buying any place, but this is especially true when it comes to the terms related to a party wall. For example, some contracts prohibit the ability to make adjustments to a party wall in, for example, an attempt to further dampen noise. You will often need consent from the neighbors to do anything to shared spaces.