Legal Definition of ''Party Wall''

In Sobien v. Mullin, 2001 PA Super 259, 783 A.2d 795 (Pa. Super. 2001), the "common wall" at issue was not a "party wall" as that term was legally defined. The Superior Court defined "party wall" as a wall located upon or at the division line between adjoining landowners and used or intended to be used by both in the construction or maintenance of improvements on their respective tracts or, more briefly, as a dividing wall for the common benefit and convenience of the tenements which it separates. The term 'wall in common,' as sometimes used, has the same meaning as party wall. A distinctive feature of a party wall is that the adjacent buildings are so constructed that each derives its support from the common wall. Thus, where each of two persons is seised of a specified half of a wall and nothing more, and no right of support or shelter has been acquired by the one from the other, such a wall is not a party wall. Sobien, 783 A.2d at 798 (quoting 40 Am.Jur. Party Walls 2 at 485 (1942)).