Who owns a shared wall of a townhouse?

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Who owns a shared wall of a townhouse?

I live in a townhouse and share a common wall with my neighbors. They have an addition on the back of the house (a shed) and the wall of the shed is on the property line. The roof of the shed is at least 12″ overhanging into my yard. My neighbor maintains that this wall is hers. Can I paint this wall, hang anything on this wall, or if I decide to build onto my house, can I alter the roof line that overhangs onto my property? Also, can I hang flowering pots from the roof line that overhangs my property? I guess my question is who owns the wall?

Asked on February 25, 2011 under Real Estate Law, South Carolina

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The wall is an issue that needs to be resolved by contacting your local planning board and building dept because the answer is not as simple as you think.  It is her shed, and if any portion of it encroaches on your property (you need to call the building dept to see the official land survey of the property to show property lines), you have a right to resolve that encroachment.  So if it were a tree, you could trim the tree back or pick the fruit that is on your side. This is not a tree but a building and that building is a free standing building purchased by the neighbor. The encroachment is a permanent encroachment and you can file a complaint to have them remove the encroachment, period.  If you wish instead to use it, put your request in writing, and ask the neighbor. Otherwise, you could be held responsible for fixing any damage you cause to the shed by painting it or placing items on it.


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