MEPs strengthen the new anti-squatting system

MEPs strengthen the new anti-squatting system

This administrative procedure should make it possible to act more quickly to obtain an eviction than to appeal through the courts, which can take months or even years.

Members of Parliament in the Chamber of the National Assembly, Paris, 29 September 2020. (DANIEL PIER / NURPHOTO / AFP)

After several widely publicized cases, the National Assembly adopted, Friday, October 2, a device facilitating the eviction of squatters from a second home, after often lively exchanges between lawyers of the “Protection of the right to property” and warnings against “Anti-squat frenzy”.

The measure was voted by 37 votes to one, that of a rebellious, after debates started on Wednesday. It is part of the bill “for the acceleration and simplification of public action” (Asap). This catch-all text, intended to simplify the procedures and daily life of administrations, businesses and individuals, is available for first reading at the Palais Bourbon.

The adopted provision had been introduced by the majority itself in committee with the support of the government. It plans to amend the 2007 law on the right to enforceable housing (Dalo) by extending the notion of “domicile” provided for by this law by adding: “whether or not it is his main residence”.

Tripling of penalties incurred

Once the occupation has been discovered and the facts denounced to the police, the owner of the accommodation can seize the prefect. The latter will have 48 hours to respond before giving notice to the squatter (s) to leave the premises. This administrative procedure should make it possible to act more quickly to obtain an eviction than to appeal through the courts, which can take months or even years. It concerns any second home, pied-à-terre, etc., but not illegal occupations of bare land, sheds, or ruined buildings which are still subject to legal proceedings.

Referral to the prefect can also be made by representatives of the owner, a clarification introduced during the Friday meeting to help in particular the elderly or dependent who could not carry out the formalities.

The penalties incurred by the squatters have also been tripled at the initiative of the rapporteur Guillaume Kasbarian (LREM): three years’ imprisonment instead of one, and a fine of 45,000 euros instead of 15,000.