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

4. Maintenance of a Common Boundary Wall

Each party has a legal obligation to undertake maintenance of the shared boundary, whatever the type of boundary.

In practice, most neighbours will undertake maintenance of that part of the boundary on their side.

However, where major expenditure is required then the agreement of both parties is required.

In your neighbour is reluctant to participate you will need to go to the tribunal d’instance to secure their participation.

If you decide to undertake the work yourself, that work does not then transfer the boundary to you.

In urban areas the law provides that you can oblige your neighbour to share in the costs of the construction (and repair) of a common boundary.

The law advises a height of 3.20 metres in larger towns and cities and of 2.60 metres in height in those areas with less than 50000 inhabitants. Neighbours can agree a different height.

The purpose of this rule is to avoid construction of two different boundaries, in juxtaposition to one another, likely to cause a nuisance or unnecessary expense.

However, if you have already proceeded to build or repair a common wall you cannot then oblige your neighbour to meet any of the costs.

Conversely, your neighbour can oblige you to concede half the boundary wall you may have constructed!

Clearly, therefore, if you wish to construct or repair a shared boundary, common sense dictates that you should approach your neighbour in the first instance.

If agreement cannot be reached, you will need to pursue the matter through the tribunal de grand instance where the use of an avocat is obligatory.

Next: Constructing Against a Common Wall

Back: Planning Rules on New Construction

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