A family has been evicted from a flat after six years spent squatting in it after the Conseil d’État (France’s highest appeal court) overturned a previous decision to extend the eviction deadline.
The squatters – a man and his son, together with a woman “and at least one other child” according to neighbours – had spent up to six years in the flat.
The administrative court in Grenoble had originally said an immediate eviction was not possible as the squatters and children would have found themselves "without a solution for rehousing or accommodation” during winter.
However, the state overturned the decision, citing the salary of the man as “sheltering him from any need, including to quickly find a suitable alternative accommodation for his seven-year-old son.”
The man is earning the equivalent of €6,000 per month working across the border in what the court called a “stable position” in Switzerland.
‘Huge relief for other residents’
The residents in the co-owned building in Annemasse (a popular commuter town for workers in Switzerland) had already dealt with squatters in other properties in the complex.
However, it took six years for the people in this particular property to be evicted, partly because of the presence of the children.
“The police went to see the squatters this morning. They have 24 hours to leave… it’s a huge relief!” said one of the residents to Le Figaro.
The police later stated that the squatters “left the building before the deadline expired”, complying with the order.
“In all cases, we will be vigilant to ensure that the squatter’s dignity and that of the people living with him are respected,” it added.
“I'm relieved, particularly for my sister… who also owns a flat in this residence… but I hope that the social services will find a rehousing solution for the children,” said another owner of a property in the complex.
Not protected by winter truce
Tenants who are in arrears cannot be evicted between November 1 and March 31 in France, due to the trêve hivernale, or winter truce.
The truce prevents eviction orders in cases where a rental contract has been signed.
We wrote last month about someone who used a short-term AirBnB let to remain inside a private residence long after a rental period ended, as they were protected by the winter truce.
However, the protection does not apply to squatters.