Boundary Walls and Fences in France

  1. Is it a Private or Common Wall?
  2. Rights Concerning Private Boundary Walls
  3. Planning Rules on New Construction
  4. Maintenance of Common Boundary Wall
  5. Constructing Against Common Boundary Wall
  6. Increasing Height of Common Boundary Wall
  7. Relinquish Shared Ownership of Wall

6. Increasing the Height of a Common Boundary Wall

A property owner has the right to increase the height of a common wall without needing to obtain the consent of their neighbour.

It is know as the droit d’exhaussement.

In principle, there are no restrictions on the height to which a wall can be built.

However, where an increase in the height causes a prejudice to the neighbour or results in a loss of stability to the wall, or loss of sunshine, then the neighbour can bring a legal action.

According to Article 658 of the civil code: Tout copropriétaire peut faire exhausser le mur mitoyen ; mais il doit payer seul la dépense de l'exhaussement et les réparations d'entretien au-dessus de la hauteur de la clôture commune ; il doit en outre payer seul les frais d'entretien de la partie commune du mur dus à l'exhaussement et rembourser au propriétaire voisin toutes les dépenses rendues nécessaires à ce dernier par l'exhaussement.

The newly extended part of the wall will belong to the party that has constructed it, who must also assume responsibility for its maintenance.

They are also obliged to compensate their neighbour for any damage that may be caused to plants etc during the construction process.

The wall can be increased in height to the full width of the existing wall or merely to a narrower width but, in all circumstances, it is important to ensure that the existing foundations can carry the additional weight or reinforcement carried out.

If it is necessary to increase the width of the wall, beyond the existing width, then this increase must be carried out on the property of the owner constructing the boundary.

Next: Relinquish Shared Ownership of Wall

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