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Adjoining wall

Verified 21 October 2019 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

A wall is adjoining if it meets certain criteria. The joint ownership entails rights and obligations for the owners of the wall, in terms of maintenance and works. It is possible to remove the half-seniority of a wall, by buying it or by giving up its right of half-seniority.

General definition

An adjoining wall is a wall that separates:

  • 2 buildings belonging to 2 separate owners,
  • or between courtyards and gardens belonging to 2 separate owners,
  • or between pens in fields belonging to 2 separate owners.

Please note

a wall can be attached in whole, or only on part.

Exception

However, the wall is not adjoining if there are:

  • a single slope at the top,
  • or tiles or cornices on one side.

In these 2 cases, the wall is deemed to belong exclusively to the owner on whose side the slope, tiles or cornices are located.

Proof of non-partisanship may also be provided:

  • by title,
  • or by prescription (if only one of the neighbors maintains or repairs the wall for 30 years, or even 10 years if it acquires the property in good faith and holds a right).

Unless urgent (if the wall threatens to ruin for example), the repair and reconstruction of an adjoining wall are done by mutual agreement and at common expense.

Warning  

if the owner of an adjoining wall carries out work on the wall without the agreement of the neighbor (except in emergency), the costs remain at his expense.

Every owner is responsible for the damage he causes to the wall and, in general, for anything that may violate the rights of his neighbor.

The responsible owner may be ordered by the court to bear the costs of restoration alone.

The owner of an adjoining wall may, alone and at his own expense, decide to:

  • raise the wall,
  • or increase its thickness.

In this case, the upper part of the raised or raised wall belongs exclusively to the neighbor who did the work.

The maintenance costs of this part remain at its exclusive charge.

Any reconstructed adjoining wall shall comply with the following minimum height rule:

  • at least 3,20 meters in height in cities with a population of 50,000 or more,
  • Or 2.60 meters in height in other cities.

This rule applies only in the absence of local uses or specific regulations specified by municipal order. To find out about local practices and special regulations, you should ask your local town hall.

Who shall I contact

It is possible to put an end to the half-life of a wall:

  • by buying the half-board of a wall.
  • or by giving up his right of citizenship.

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Purchase of half-seniority

Terms

The purchase of half-board is possible for:

  • a wall located on the edge of the property,
  • or a part of a wall erected individually by the neighbor (elevation in particular).

This purchase can be made at any time.

Procedure

You must first ask the neighbor by registered mail.

If the neighbor agrees, the act of loyalty is drawn up at a notary.

Who shall I contact

Please note

in case of difficulties, you can use justice conciliator..

If the neighbor does not agree, the court must be brought before the court to have the half-seniority taken into account.

Consequences

The purchase of the joint service, amicable or judicial, involves the payment of a sum corresponding to 50%:

  • the cost of the wall and the value of the floor on which the wall is erected when the wall was built by the neighbor,
  • or the expenses incurred by the neighbor for raising the wall.

Abandonment of the right of semi-citizenship

Terms

It is possible to abandon his right of semi-citizenship, provided that:

  • not to have a building built on the wall,
  • and the wall does not hold back his land or that of his neighbor.

Warning  

if a neighbor contemplates giving up his or her right of citizenship, but works are necessary because of his or her fault, he or she must first repair the wall before giving up the right of citizenship.

Procedure

A registered letter should be sent to your neighbor to inform him or her of your intention to renounce the adjoining wall.

If the neighbor agrees, the act of abandonment of half-service is drawn up at a notary and signed by the 2 neighbors.

This act may be rendered opponent third parties. To do this, it must be sent by the notary to the conservation of mortgages for publication.

Who shall I contact

If the neighbor does not agree, the court must be brought before it to declare the abandonment of the citizenship.

Consequences

A neighbor who has abandoned his right of residence no longer has to contribute to the maintenance of the wall.

On the other hand, it loses the advantages of half-board, including the possibility of building a building on the wall. The limits of his land are remote, because he loses possession of the ground under half the wall.

The remaining neighbor becomes the sole owner of the wall and the floor on which it rests.

Please note

after having abandoned his right of semi-citizenship, it remains possible to buy it again (for a financial cost of the purchase).