The roof of discord The text proposes to triple the penalties incurred by squatters up to three years in prison and a fine of 45,000 euros
< img class="aligncenter" src="/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/une-proposal-de-loi-anti-squats-arouses-concern-of-associations-1f9d4b1.jpg" alt="A proposal for anti-squats law arouses the concern of associations" />
“Currently, a squatter risks one year in prison and a fine of 15,000 euros. But the owner who changes the lock risks 3 years and 45,000 euros. (ILLUSTRATION PHOTO) — Canva
Its aim is to more effectively protect homeowners against squats and unpaid rent. But this bill examined at from Monday to; the National Assembly arouses the concern of associations for the defense of the poorly housed. Worn by the majority presidential election, the text aimed at “Protecting housing from unlawful occupation” received support in committee from LR and RN deputies.
“I have received dozens of testimonies from small landlords in litigation over the past two, three, four years. Many citizens are indignant to see these victims of squats or unpaid bills. This creates a feeling of injustice and impunity,” says the author of the text, Guillaume Kasbarian (Renaissance). The text proposes to triple the penalties incurred by squatters until three years in prison and a 45,000 euro fine. “Currently a squatter faces a year in prison and a 15,000 euro fine. But the owner who changes the lock risks three years and 45,000 euros,” from Eure-et-Loir.
Express eviction procedure
The text extends the express expulsion procedure, without recourse to a judge, to vacant accommodation, empty of furniture, for example between two moves. In a second part, the PPL wants to comfort landlords in the face of tenants who do not pay their rent, notably planning to shorten the deadlines throughout the procedure.
“If so many owners ask for guarantees, sureties and supporting documents, it’s because they know that the procedures are tortuous,” says Guillaume Kasbarian. Two-thirds of landlords have only one rental unit, he said. Among the testimonies received by the deputy, a sexagenarian explains that she wants to take over her apartment to accommodate her daughter, but the tenant refuses any offer of rehousing. She has to pay lawyers and works to maintain her apartment.
Only target “dishonest behavior”
“We are maintaining the appeal to the judge and the winter truce. It is normal for people who have difficulties to be granted a time limit. But it's not normal for these procedures to last five or six years,” said Guillaume Kasbarian, who claims to only target the “dishonest behavior of a minority” of tenants”.
The deputy cites another testimony, from an owner who says she has been coping for six years with 80,000 euros in unpaid rent, charges and legal costs, while its tenants leave for the weekend at abroad. Representing real estate professionals, the Fnaim welcomes “a better consideration of the realities facing owners and a rebalancing of the arsenal” legislation hitherto favorable to the occupants”.
The concern of associations
On the contrary, associations defending the poorly housed, such as Droit au Logement (DAL), say they are worried about this hardening, “in a context of stagnating incomes, rising prices and rents. , the number of homeless people and vacancies.” The DAL, which calls for demonstrate on Sunday at; Paris, criticizes a “tendency to see squatters as delinquents as they seek to get started from the shelter of the street”.
“This text will allow evictions in forty-eight hours, without a judge, of squatters who occupy vacant housing. The current procedure is to go before the judge who appreciates the social urgency of the situation of the squatters”, explains Manuel Domergue, director of studies at the Abbé-Pierre Foundation. As for unpaid rent, the length of the procedure has “the virtue of giving time to find a rehousing solution”, according to Manuel Domergue. “We thus go from some 145,000 households sued for non-payment to 17,000 effective expulsions”,” he explains.
“Criminalize the precarious””
Attac denounces an “anti-social law  ;” which “criminalizes the precarious” Contacted through the DAL, Christelle explains that she lives with 3 children aged 16 to 18. 19 years old in a 40 m2 in Val-de-Marne and received a leave of absence. of its lessor who wants to sell. “I refuse to leave and we have been in the process since the beginning of 2021. I fear I will be evicted if the law is passed,” worries this housekeeper.
The Ministry of Housing says « very careful to maintain a balance between protecting the most vulnerable and protecting donors”, suggesting that the text will still evolve.