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Can an usher enter a dwelling in the absence of its occupant?

Verified 04 October 2021 - Directorate of Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister), Ministry of Justice

Yes, a judicial officer can perform a seizure in a dwelling in the absence of its occupant, provided that enforceable title. This is the case when the bailiff has previously sent a pay command to the occupant of the dwelling and the latter has not repaid his debt within 8 days.

At the end of this period, the bailiff can enter the dwelling.

When the occupant (be it debtor or a third party) is absent or refuses to let the usher in, the usher can enter the dwelling provided he is accompanied.

The bailiff must be accompanied by the mayor of the town or a municipal councillor or a municipal official delegated by the mayor for this purpose or by a police or gendarmerie authority. If this is not possible, the bailiff must be accompanied by 2 witnesses. These 2 witnesses must be over 18 years of age and not be employed by the creditor, nor that of the judicial officer.

The bailiff must call in a locksmith to open the doors.

In the accommodation, the bailiff can have the doors and furniture opened, provided that the people accompanying him are present. He or she may perform seizure operations (e.g., seizure of assets in a safe) provided that the person accompanying him or her is present.

The bailiff must call on a locksmith to ensure the closure of the door (or any other exit) through which he entered.