Townhouse Law & Legal Definition


A townhouse is an attached dwelling that is not a condominium, however condominiums are also described as townhouses. A townhouse doesn't necessarily share ownership of common areas in the same way as condominium owners. This form of ownership provides the owner with a "fee simple" ownership of real property. The owner is responsible for payment of all real estate taxes, maintenance and repairs of the property. The sale of the property may be conveyed to any party without prior approval by anyone other than the homeowner. It may also be defined as a building devoted to the public uses of a town.

Definitions and requirements vary by locality, so local laws should be consulted for applicability in your area. The following is an example of a city definition of a townhouse:

  1. " Townhouse. As used in this chapter, a townhouse is defined as an attached, privately owned single-family dwelling unit which is a part of and adjacent to other similarly owned single-family dwelling units that are connected to but separated from one another by a common party wall having no doors, windows, or other provisions for human passage or visibility. A townhouse is a form of Planned Unit Development as set forth in Chapter 11.31, except for the project size requirement listed therein.
  2. Townhouse Group. A cluster or grouping of townhouse units containing no less than two or more than six townhouse dwelling units contiguous to one another.
  3. Townhouse Lot. A townhouse lot is defined as a properly recorded and deeded lot upon which a townhouse unit is found."