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Misunderstandings about party walls and boundary walls in Ireland

We get numerous calls to our office from both home owners and adjoining owners asking about their rights and responsibilities pertaining to their party walls and boundary walls.

Quite often our callers have researched their questions and concerns over the internet or from friends and normally end up being more confused at the end of their research.  The principal reasons for these misunderstandings comes from the source of the information that the home owner is reading. Most often if you “google” any party or boundary wall issues, you will get an array of misleading information which would appear to be answering the exact question that the home owner has asked.

Unfortunately the information that people are basing their understandings of party or boundary wall issues are emanating from the UK.  This information will vary depending on whether the opinion is based on the 1996 or the substantially revised 2006 Party Wall Act.  However these Act’s are only relevant to England and Wales and have absolutely no bearing on party wall matters in Ireland. To make matters even more confusing the Irish courts may still refer to English Case Law when determining what judgement that the Irish court may make in both party wall and boundary wall disputes.

There are numerous posts on Irish based forums and websites giving incorrect information to home owners concerning party and boundary walls. To add to this confusion is the relatively new “Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009” which updates the legal position in Ireland concerning party and boundary wall structures and easement rights from what was the norm for more then the last 100 years.

Unfortunately the new “Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009” failed to repeal the old 1890 Dublin Corporation Party Walls Act.  This will almost certainty lead to more complicated legal argument and substantially higher legal costs if you and your neighbour fail to reach an agreement or an amicable compromise.

No wonder most home owners and professionals alike are confused about party walls and boundary walls and what type of building works they are allowed to carry out to same.

Hopefully the information you will find in our website will give you a basic understanding of party and boundary walls or if you need more individual advice on these matters , please submit your question and we will try to assist you.

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