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Threatening ruin

Verified 10 February 2021 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)

If a building or a dwelling poses a threat to the safety of its occupants or the neighbourhood, the mayor may initiate a peril proceeding. Depending on the emergency, certain measures can be taken (evacuation, demolition,...).

The hazard is characterised by:

  • Walls, buildings or buildings of any kind that do not offer the necessary guarantees of solidity to maintain the safety of occupants and third parties
  • Defective operation or failure to maintain common equipment of a collective residential complex, creating serious risks to occupants or third parties or seriously compromising their living or operating conditions
  • Storage of explosive or flammable materials in an adjoining or included common-use residential complex, in violation of safety rules or creating serious risks to the safety of occupants or third parties

Anyone who has knowledge of facts revealing a situation of peril must report them to the mayor by any means.

Who shall I contact

The mayor can arrange visits that he or she considers useful in assessing the risks.

Site visits are only available between 6 AM and 9 PM.

A report from municipal or intermunicipal services must determine whether or not there is a risk.

This report is submitted to the mayor prior to the adoption of the safety order.

When the situation is urgent, the mayor can ask the administrative court to appoint an expert to examine the housing or building. This expert assesses their condition and proposes measures to stop the danger.

The expert shall decide within 24 hours of his appointment.

The security processing order shall be issued at the end of an adversarial procedure with the owner or trustee if this concerns common areas of a condominium building. This procedure consists for the owner or trustee to explain the situation of peril and to know the future procedure of peril. The trustee must immediately inform the co-owners by any means of the existence of this procedure.

In case of imminent danger, manifest or found by the report of the municipal services or by the designated expert, the mayor shall order by an order made without prior contradictory procedure the measures necessary to stop this danger.

The safety order shall order that one or more of the following measures be carried out within a period specified in the order:

  • Repair or other measures to remedy the situation (including to preserve the solidity of the contiguous buildings)
  • Demolition of all or part of the building or facility
  • Discontinuance of the making available of the premises or installation for residential purposes
  • No temporary or permanent residence, use or access to the premises

The order states that in case of non-execution within the time limit set the owner or the trustee will have to pay a treachery per day late. The order must also specify that the work may be performed ex officio at the expense of the owner or trustee.

The order is notified to the owner or trustee. It is also notified to the occupants.

If the address of the persons concerned is not known, or if it is impossible to identify them, the notification is made by posting to the town hall and on the facade of the building.

In Paris, Marseille and Lyon, the display is made at the town hall of the district where the building is located and on the facade of the building.

The City Council shall declare the completion of the measures or works ordered, their date of completion and declare the release of the order. The order may also prohibit the use, inhabiting or access of premises.

The release order is notified as the release order.

Where the measures and work ordered have not been carried out within the specified time limit, the owner or the trustee shall pay a penalty of up to €1 000 per day late.

The amount shall be fixed by order of the Council taking into account the extent of the measures and work ordered and the consequences of the non-execution of those measures and work.

The periodic penalty payment shall begin on the date of notification of the order issuing it and until all the measures and work ordered have been completed.

The owner or trustee must inform the mayor of the completion of the measures and works, preferably by registered letter with notice of receipt.

Where the measures and works ordered have not been implemented within the time limit set, the mayor may have them executed ex officio, at the expense of the owner or the trustee.

The mayor may take any action necessary for the execution.

He may cause the house or building to be demolished at the request of the president of the court.

If the safety order is supplemented by a temporary residence ban, or if the work makes the premises temporarily uninhabitable, the owner or trustee must provide accommodation for the occupants.

If the order orders a permanent prohibition of residence or the cessation of the provision of premises for housing purposes, the owner or the trustee must ensure the rehousing of the occupants.

The order shall specify the effective date of the prohibition.

As of the notification of the order, vacant (empty) premises cannot be rented, made available or occupied for any purpose.

If a release order is made, all these provisions cease to apply.