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28 Mar. 2024


What to do if your home is damaged or destroyed: legal advice on actions and the eRestoration program



What to do if your home is damaged or destroyed: legal advice on actions and the eRestoration program

Unfortunately, the war continues and an increasing number of Ukrainians are facing the consequences of hostilities and missile attacks from the russian federation. Our lawyers told you how to act if your home was damaged or completely destroyed as a result of the russian invasion

Legal assistance for Ukrainians and foreigners
Legal assistance for Ukrainians and foreigners

The harsh truth of war is that hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have been deprived of their homes. Bombing, artillery, fires - no one is safe from this in the area of active hostilities, and even outside of them (remember the "high-precision" missiles of the invaders). It's terrible to come out of a bomb shelter and see your house completely destroyed, or, as an IDP in western Ukraine or Europe, to recognize your own home in such a state in the images on the Internet. What to do in this case? We have talked to our team of lawyers and offer you a consistent algorithm of actions that can help you if your home is destroyed.

What documents are needed to restore or compensate for damaged housing?

The thesis "it won't happen to me, because it just can't happen" does not work here. That is why everyone needs to soberly prepare for possible losses. And even if you are now in relative safety and far from the front line, make sure you have all the necessary documents to be able to receive compensation for your destroyed home in the event of a missile attack.

Remember: If there are hostilities near you or your city is under threat of rocket fire or drone attacks, never move from your home to a bomb shelter without property documents. A good tip: upload scans of all your papers to the cloud or Diia, or make copies and hide them in a safe place. This will make it much easier for you to prove your ownership when claiming damages.

List of documents confirming ownership:

– agreement on the ownership of real estate,

– purchase and sale agreement,

– certificate of inheritance,

– state act for a land plot,

– gift agreement,

– an extract from the register of rights to real estate, a technical passport.

In addition, be sure to bring a wallet with documents and bank cards with some money, if possible. In case of damage to the property, you may lose your cash savings.

However, if you didn't have time to prepare and your documents are destroyed along with your home, don't despair - everything is stored in state registers, and it will be possible to restore them, it will just take more time.

Step one: personal safety

First of all, find a safe place for yourself and your family - ask your neighbors, friends or relatives for help. You can also get help with housing and basic necessities through local authorities or at an IDP shelter.

Step two: report on damaged/destroyed housing

Call the police and representatives of the State Emergency Service (they may already be at the scene, helping to extinguish fires, rescue people, remove rubble, etc.) They have to draw up a report. Don't worry, all the facts of shelling are meticulously documented - as evidence in courts and as grounds for compensation to the victims. You should take a copy of the report and keep it.

Additionally, take several photos of the destruction with the date setting: from different angles, so that you can see not only the scale and details, but also the location. If possible, ask your neighbors to sign a handwritten report (if law enforcement and the State Emergency Service are not currently working in the area, for example). A sample of such an act can be downloaded here. For those who evacuated far away from their destroyed home and saw a mention of the incident in the media, you should save the link to the report and take screenshots of the material.

Next, file a report of a crime with law enforcement agencies, attaching the evidence you have collected. Get an extract from the Unified Register of Pre-trial Investigations.

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Step three: the eRestoration program

You can currently receive compensation for destroyed housing, a certificate for new real estate, and financial assistance for the restoration of your damaged home through the eRestoration program. 

The conditions for receiving assistance under the program are as follows: 

– the property was damaged due to hostilities after February 24, 2022;

– the property is located in the non-occupied territory where active hostilities are not taking place;

– the building is subject to restoration.

One of the conditions was that the property should not be repaired independently. However, the president recently signed a law that provides for the settlement of the issue of compensation for repairs to damaged housing made at their own expense. So now citizens who have already made repairs will be able to apply for a payment under the eVodnovlenie program. 

These payments will be made from 01.01.2024. In determining the amount of compensation, the commission will be guided by the act of initial inspection of the dwelling, which is carried out after direct damage, as well as a checklist with the established cost of building materials and works approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

So, to receive funds, you need to submit an application through Diia and wait for the commission's decision. The application stages are as follows:

1. Apply for the Damaged Property service in the Diia app

2. Open an eRestoration account with the bank (we wrote how to do it here)

3. Apply for payment through Diia

4. Allow the inspection of the property to determine the amount of compensation by the local government commission

5. Wait for the decision to be entered into the Register of Damaged and Destroyed Property

6. Receive money on the eRestoration card

7. Submit a report on the funds used

Currently, the maximum amount of payments for apartments is UAH 350,000, for private houses - UAH 500,000. At the same time, if the commission appoints a payment of UAH 200 thousand or more, it will be divided into two parts. During the first payment, you will receive 70% of the amount, and the rest - during the second. 

Remember. The money must be used within 12 months (if you receive up to UAH 200,000) and within 18 months (if you receive a larger amount) from the date of receipt, otherwise it will return to the state budget.

International register of losses

Also, starting in April 2024, Ukrainians will be able to submit an application to the International Register for compensation for damages caused by russian aggression through the Diia application. The list of categories of damages includes damaged or destroyed real estate, damage to life and health, forced displacement and internally displaced persons, crimes of torture and sexual violence, as well as other injuries and losses. In the future, legal entities and the state will be able to file claims for damage to business and infrastructure. Read more about this here.

Step four: reporting on the funds spent 

The reporting process also takes place online through Diia. To do this, go to the application, click on the "eRestoration" button, and go to the "Payment applications" item.  The report is submitted after most of the work is done. For example, if you have received a reimbursement of up to UAH 200 thousand, you must submit a document when you have used 90% of the funds provided. 

If the amount is more than UAH 200 thousand and you are to receive two payments, then you must submit a report when 90% of the first part is used and then when 90% of the 2nd part is used.

Step five: where to look for a temporary home?

If you want to temporarily change your place of residence and move to a safer region, these links will help you find a temporary home:

— For a collection of services with free hotels, people who can accommodate you, useful telegram bots and channels, and sites where you can find information on transportation for your move, click here;

— Find free housing here.

If you need legal assistance on the conditions and rules of traveling abroad, the process of submitting documents or appealing decisions, please contact the Visit Ukraine legal team. Follow this link to order a consultation or full legal support from a lawyer.

We remind you! Since the beginning of the full-scale war in Ukraine, the European Union has hosted more than 4 million Ukrainian refugees. Despite the large number of displaced persons, EU countries continue to accept citizens in need. Read more about which countries still provide temporary residence on their territory and what conditions they offer in 2024 in our previous article.

Want to know more? Read the latest news and useful materials about Ukraine and the world in the News section.

We recommend purchasing it for a safe and comfortable trip to Ukraine: 

Visit Ukraine Insurance – safe travel in Ukraine (insurance covering military risks);

Visit Ukraine Legal advice – comprehensive legal support on entry to Ukraine;
Visit Ukraine Tickets – bus and train tickets to/from Ukraine;

Visit Ukraine Tours – the largest online database of tours to Ukraine for every taste;

Visit Ukraine Hotels – hotels for a comfortable stay in Ukraine;

Visit Ukraine Merch – patriotic clothing and accessories with worldwide delivery.

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