Squat: what to do?

squat what to do

The case of this young man from Toulouse, whose house was squatted while he was confined to his parents' home, was covered by the media and made most people aware that the law, by dint of wanting, rightly so, to protect the weakest, manages to create absurd and dramatic situations. In case of squatting: what to do? 

As a reminder, on March 31, 2020, the newspaper La Dépêche reported the misadventure of this young boy, a student in Toulouse. He had reached his parental home in the Hautes-Pyrénées before the confinement and soon realized that an intruder was occupying his home in a residence in the Rangueil district of Toulouse.

Since the DALO law (Droit Au Logement Opposable) of 6 March 2007, the rights of the occupants of a property are reinforced... no matter how they entered the premises.

This case is not unlike the Maryvonne Thamin case, which raises the question:

What to do in case of squatting?

If you realize that one of your properties is squatted, our first piece of advice will be to take immediate civil and criminal action.
In the civil, by preserving the proof of the squat, by the realization of a bailiff's report which will allow you to prove the reality of the squat. The bailiff will not be able to enter the squat without the agreement of the occupants (sic) but he will be able, from outside, to proceed to the first observations and in particular to note the existence of a squat, even to meet the squatters to obtain an answer to the questions which he will ask them during an interpellatory summons concomitant to the statement of facts.
In criminal cases, by lodging a complaint with the police station or gendarmerie for assault (the squat).

En effet, l’article 38 de la loi DALO prévoit que « En cas d’introduction et de maintien dans le domicile d’autrui à l’aide de manoeuvres, menaces, voies de fait ou de contrainte, le propriétaire ou le locataire du logement occupé peut demander au préfet de mettre en demeure l’occupant de quitter les lieux, après avoir déposé plainte, fait la preuve que le logement constitue son domicile et fait constater l’occupation illicite par un officier de police judiciaire.
La mise en demeure est assortie d’un délai d’exécution qui ne peut être inférieur à vingt-quatre heures. Elle est notifiée aux occupants et publiée sous forme d’affichage en mairie et sur les lieux. Le cas échéant, elle est notifiée au propriétaire ou au locataire.
Lorsque la mise en demeure de quitter les lieux n’a pas été suivie d’effet dans le délai fixé, le préfet doit procéder à l’évacuation forcée du squat, sauf opposition du propriétaire ou du locataire dans le délai fixé pour l’exécution de la mise en demeure. »

To implement this approach, it is necessary to act within the framework of the flagrante delicto provided for in Article 53 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. However, it is considered that flagrante delicto ceases at the end of Forty-eight hours.
Unfortunately, squatters are often well informed of these legal subtleties and it is not uncommon to see that they have simply made a modification to the EDF contract for example well before entering the premises, allowing them to justify an earlier squatting date.

Also, you will have to instruct a bailiff to start civil proceedings for eviction.

This procedure for the eviction of a squat can be initiated in the form of an emergency referral.
Particular care should be taken when drafting the summons by requesting that the deadlines for achieving eviction be reduced or even cancelled. Indeed, if we do not ask for this, it should be noted that once the judgement is handed down, the squatters would still have a period of two months to leave the squat.
It is also appropriate to request that the magistrate exclude the application of the winter truce.

In any event, our firm is well versed in this type of procedure, and we will be able to assert your rights.

Do not hesitate to contact us in case of squatting