Property Party Wall Easements

Posted on Sunday, August 25 2013

A wall which separates one property from another may be built entirely on the land of one party, with the neighbour having no rights over it.

However, often both neighbours will have rights over a wall which separates their properties, and which both owners use as support for the buildings on their land. This type of wall is called a party wall.

The two main types of party wall are:
a. Where the wall is built on the land of one owner, but the wall is subject to an easement in favour of the neighbour;
b. A wall which runs along the boundary between two properties, with part on one side of the boundary, and part on the other, with each part being subject to an easement in favour of the other owner.

A wall can be a party wall for its’ whole length and height, or for only part of its’ length or height.

A wall dividing two units in a a unit title subdivision is not a party wall – under the Unit Titles Act 2010, such walls are part of the “infrastructure”, which the body corporate must maintain.

A typical party wall easement would give the person having the benefit of the easment the following rights;
a. The right to use the wall to support a building on that owner’s land, including the right to attach parts of the building on that land to the wall;
b. The right to come onto the land on which the wall is built to inspect, repair and replace the wall.

The person having the benefit of the easement will normally be required to carry out any work to the wall in a good and competent manner, and to properly support the wall while any work is carried out, and to repair any damage caused by him or her to the neighbour’s land or building.


Mike Toepfer – Aspiring Law


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Expert's Bio

Mike Toepfer

Aspiring Law is a general practice firm, offering the best in legal services and advice to our local Upper Clutha community, as well as our national and international clients. We recently launched our new firm, after taking over AWS Legal’s Wanaka office. We’ve carefully tailored our firm’s services and culture to meet the needs of our business, and wider, community. Clients from further afield also draw on our specialist expertise, particularly advice and support around property, including large-scale developments, and agribusiness. As our clients have come to expect, the cornerstone of our new practice remains excellent, timely advice, underpinned by personalised, genuine service and support. Further to that, we’re really excited about building further on our community-based initiatives to educate and inform people on legal issues, and do our part in finding meaningful, innovative ways to support our area. Before that I was at large Auckland firm Hesketh Henry for 17 years - over 13 years as a partner and 10 years on the firm's board of management and as property team leader. I have specialised in all types of property transactions for the last 27 years.

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