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Unpaid rent and eviction of tenant

Verified 26 March 2020 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

In the event of unpaid rent, the landlord must contact his insurer or his tenant's deposit. If the tenant receives a housing allowance, the landlord is obliged to notify the Caf or the MSA. The termination of the lease (pre-eviction) can then be ordered by the judge, "automatically" if the lease contains a resolving clause.. The judge may also decide it after examining the situation (we are talking about judicial termination).

From 1to unpaid rent and before any action to request the termination of the lease, the landlord must contact:

Please note

landlord and tenant can choose to call upon a justice conciliator to formalize an agreement (example: spreading of the refund).

If the tenant is a beneficiary of housing assistance, the landlord has an obligation to notify the Caf (or MSA) as soon as possible, so that it initiates an unpaid claim..

The Caf (or CMSA) considers that there has been an unpaid amount:

Housing allowance paid to the tenant

For the Caf (or CMSA), there is unpaid as soon as the tenant's debt is equal to 2 times the rent excluding charges.

For example:

  • rent €430
  • monthly charges €90
  • housing aid for €200

The unpaid amount shall be established where the debt is:

430 x 2 =€860

Housing allowance paid to the owner

For the Caf (or CMSA), there is an unpaid amount as soon as the tenant's debt is equal to 2 times the net rent (rent less housing aid) excluding charges.

For example:

  • rent €430
  • monthly charges €90
  • housing aid for €200

The unpaid amount shall be established where the debt is:

430 - 200 = 230

230 x 2 = €460

The termination procedure depends on whether or not a lease is in place resolving clause.. It must be a clause providing that the lease will be terminated automatically in the event of non-payment of the rent and charges at agreed deadlines. In practice, this clause exists in most leases.

If the lease does not contain resolving clause, we are talking about judicial termination..

Termination by Resolving Clause

Payment Order

If the lease contains a resolving clause, the owner must contact bailiff to send to the tenant (and to the person who has posted bail) a pay command specifying the amounts claimed.

If the tenant disputes the sums claimed, he can contact the landlord and, if he does not agree, he must refer the matter to the court judge.

Payment deadlines

The tenant has 2 months to pay the amounts claimed and the bailiff's fees. If he cannot pay them, he may during that period:

  • request payment periods from the judge by referring the matter to the court of his residence,
  • apply on an ad hoc basis for financial assistance Solidarity Fund for Housing (SLF)..

After deadline 2 months (or the period of payment granted by the judge):

  • if the tenant has paid the sums due, he can stay in the dwelling,
  • if the tenant has not paid the sums due, the landlord must appeal to the court to find that the lease is terminated and to order the eviction. The owner may refer the matter to a judge referenced..
    The judge can still grant payment periods to the tenant who is able to pay his rental debt. During this period, the effects of the resolutory clause shall be suspended.

Judicial termination

Court summons

If the lease does not contain resolving clause, the owner must call upon bailiff to bring the tenant before the court and obtain the termination of the lease and the eviction of the tenant.

Before taking the tenant to court, the landlord may address a notice to honor his commitments, but he does not have to.

Decision of the judge

The court shall determine whether the tenant's fault is of sufficient gravity to justify the termination of the lease and the expulsion.

After examining the financial situation of the tenant, the judge may decide to grant payment periods if he considers that the debt can be paid. If this is not the case, the judge may terminate the lease and order the eviction of the tenant.

When the judge has ordered the termination of the lease and the eviction of the tenant, the landlord must send to the tenant by bailiff a command to leave..

Timeouts for leaving the accommodation

From receipt of command to leave, the tenant has 2 months to leave the dwelling. He may refer the matter to the enforcement judge for additional time.

The judge may grant an additional period ranging from 3 months to 3 years maximum, depending on the situation of the tenant (age, health, family situation).

Requesting a Deadline for a Deportation Order - Application to the enforcement judge

Intervention by a bailiff

The expulsion procedure must be carried out by a bailiff. The bailiff may announce his visit beforehand, but it is not mandatory. The bailiff must present himself at the lodging business days between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Warning  

a lessor who evicts an indelicate tenant is liable to 3 years in prison and €30,000 fine.

Depending on whether the tenant is present

On the day of the eviction:

  • if the tenant refuses to open the door: the bailiff draws up a report of an attempt to expel him, which describes his failure and appeals to a police authority,
  • if the tenant is absent: the usher may enter the dwelling only if he is accompanied by a police authority and a locksmith. The bailiff then draws up a report of expulsion. He informs the tenant by a poster placed on the door by which he means that he can no longer enter the dwelling,
  • if the tenant does not protest to leave the premises: the bailiff draws up a report in which he carries out the inventory of the furniture.

If furniture was left

If property has been left on the spot or deposited by the bailiff in an appropriate place, the report of expulsion must contain:

  • the inventory of such property, with an indication whether or not it appears to have a market value,
  • the place and conditions of access to the premises where they were deposited,
  • the obligation for the expelled person, in very apparent characters, to have to withdraw his property within the non-renewable 2-month period from the delivery or service of the minutes. Unwithdrawn property is sold at public auction if the inventory indicates that it appears to have a market value. Otherwise, the goods are considered abandoned except for the papers and personal documents which are placed under sealed envelope and kept for 2 years by the bailiff,
  • mention of the possibility for the expelled person to contest the lack of market value of the goods within 1 month of the delivery or service of the minutes,
  • an indication of the judge having territorial jurisdiction to hear the dispute,
  • and reproduction of articles A. 121-6 to R. 121-10 , R 442-2 and R 442-3 Code of Civil Enforcement Procedures.

The owner cannot take the initiative to enter the dwelling before the intervention of a bailiff, change the lock and touch the furniture, under penalty of prosecution for breach of home..

Expulsion prohibited during the "winter truce"

No rental eviction may take place during the period of winter truce, going 1to November to 31 March of the following year.

But winter truce shall not apply where:

  • the eviction is accompanied by a relocation corresponding to the tenant's family needs (the number of rooms must correspond to the number of occupants)
  • or the unit is in a building that has been the subject of a peril order

However, during winter truce, an owner has the right to expulsion proceedings by referring the matter to the judge of the judicial tribunal or to the judge in emergency proceedings. If the judge orders expulsion during the winter truce, then it will be effective from the end of this period.

Who shall I contact

FYI  

overseas departments (Dom), one cyclonic truce may also apply. Dates vary depending on the department, you should ask the prefecture concerned.