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French MPs vote for tougher anti-squatting rules to protect homeowners

The new law, which must now be voted on by senators, widens the definition of squatting and increases penalties

The bill will triple the punishment that can be given to squatters Pic: Ppictures / Shutterstock

MPs have passed a bill aiming to protect homeowners better against squatters. It would triple the punishment that can be given to squatters to up to three years in prison and a €45,000 fine. 

This will align the penalty with those for landlords who force squatters out on their own without calling on the police. 

People who organise squats by pretending to own a property will face the same penalty. 

Anti-squatting rules are also to be extended to cover unfurnished property and situations where forced entry is not proved. 

The bill will see a clause inserted into tenancy agreements allowing landlords to terminate a lease due to unpaid rent, without going to court. 

A judge will, on request from a tenant, be able to give longer to pay or cancel the expulsion if they have started paying again. 

Left-wing MPs said the law will be hard on those struggling to keep up with rent payments due to inflation and will see many become homeless. 

The bill was put forward by the Renaissance party, but received the support of the far-right Rassemblement national. 

It must now go to the Senate.

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