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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Advice for Victoria Square residents

Last week residents of apartments in Victoria Square were told to leave their homes due to safety concerns within the complex following serious structural issues uncovered earlier in the year.

Whilst working to resolve the issues, structural engineers warned of a risk of further structural movement, which necessitated the evacuation. It has been suggested that residents may not be able to return to their homes for 20 weeks and that the cost of repairs will be significant.

A number of people have contacted Housing Rights in the last few days to enquire about their rights in relation to the apartments. Those concerned are private tenants, homeowners and landlords.

Advice for private tenants

If you are a private tenant of one of the affected apartments you may be able to end your tenancy agreement early. You should contact Housing Rights for advice on paying rent for this property, your rights to return when the repairs are complete or getting your deposit back. Keep copies of all paperwork or messages you received in relation to the evacuation request. Call our helpline on 028 9024 5640 to speak to our advisers.

You can contact the Northern Ireland Housing Executive if you require emergency or temporary accommodation or if you wish to register for social housing. If you wish to return to your home when repair work has been completed you may need to negotiate this with your landlord. You should keep in contact with your landlord and you could check if they have any other accommodation that you could move to in the meantime.

Advice for owner occupiers

Owner occupiers should consult the lease under which they purchased the property for details of who is responsible for the cost of repairs to the complex. Whether any of these costs are recoverable is likely to ultimately depend on the cause of the damage and who is responsible for it.

You will have to continue to pay your mortgage or any loans secured on your home each month. If you struggle to meet your monthly mortgage payments contact Housing Rights on 028 9024 5640.

Advice for landlords of Victoria Square apartments

Our colleagues in Landlord Advice will be happy to help landlords of properties in the development. You may have queries on whether your tenant is still liable to pay rent, or how to deal with the tenant's deposit. You should talk to your tenant to see if they wish to return to the property when repair work has been completed. If you have a mortgage on your property it is important to maintain your payments.

Call 028 9024 5640 to speak to advisers at Housing Rights or Landlord Advice.


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This article was written on 18 April 2019. It should not be relied on as a statement of the current law or policy position. For help with housing issues please contact our helpline on 028 9024 5640 or use our online chat service at www.housingadviceNI.org.