Definition of "Abutting"

Joshua L. Cole real estate agent
Joshua L. Cole, Real Estate Agent Venture Realty Group

The term abutting comes from the verb “to abut” and the definition of abutting denotes more proximity than “adjacent”. Abutting is often used in real estate to discuss properties that don’t have between them any land or specific border to work as a limit. These properties are referred to as abutting properties. The term abutting is not only used when referring to two homes that share a boundary, but people can also use it in case of a home abutting a highway or industrial parks that are abutting a market. The meaning of abutting implies a shared boundary between a fence, a wall of a building, an outer wall of a home, or even a line drawn on the grass.

What is an abutting property?

An abutting building can be a home, townhouse, a high-rise condominium or an apartment complex. In architecture, the term abutting building refers to buildings with exterior walls that touch or are almost touching. They are regarded as abutting properties by building codes, and even when they have a seismic separation they are still regarded as abutting properties.

People make another comparison with the term “neighbor”. Still, while a neighbor can be the person living next door to you or the one from across the street, an abutter (the owner of the abutting property) can only be the one next door to you, but only if you share a common border between the two properties. 

One of the requirements of abutting properties is that the expenses of specific projects to be split between the two. The neighbor from across the street, if the road is private or public domain, is not an abutter, but if the street is split between the two property owners, then the owners will  split the costs of repairs. This right as well as other rights, regulations and guidelines are drafted in the Abutter’s rights and the owners of the abutting properties need to respect them.


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