Review of the law on Apartments | Northern Ireland Law Commission
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Review of the law on Apartments

The Consultation Paper published in November 2012 considered a review of the Law Relating to Apartments and the issues which affect apartments themselves as well as the structure of buildings and common areas in the development, both internal and external. The Consultation Paper raised broad questions on potential ways forward and sought responses from consultees in order to canvas views as extensively as possible. It provided an opportunity for the issues to be considered from different angles.

Consultation with stakeholders and other interested parties formed an important part of the project. The Commission ensured that it engaged with and consulted extensively with a wide range of stakeholders throughout the project. The consultation period closed on Friday 25 January 2013. The Commission is grateful to all those who responded to the questions raised in the Consultation Paper for their views and comments.

The final Report on Apartments was published on 24 May 2013. The report contains recommendations to address the problems experienced by those owning and living in apartments and other properties with elements of shared ownership, such as open spaces. As a matter of priority the Commission is seeking to provide solutions for current owners as well as trying to ensure that the same issues do not arise again in the future.

The Commission believes that a comprehensive range of measures has to be considered. Although some may be achieved by the introduction of legislation, there are other more practical ways to produce more immediate and effective results. The Commission recognises that the funding and resourcing of any new schemes is an important factor, so it has aimed to be pragmatic and realistic in its approach. It has sought to put forward ideas that are low-cost and have the potential to be implemented without long delays.

The Commission has looked at the problems in the context of home ownership, rather than landlord and tenant situations. It is conscious that homeowners feel there is a deficit of services available to them when they encounter difficulties or have a dispute and there is a perception that there is a greater range of support services for tenants, whether in social or private housing.

Related documents
Report: Apartments - NILC 17 (2013)
Report on Apartments Equality Screening
Consultation Paper: Apartments - NILC 15 (2012)
Consultation on Equality Screening: Apartments