WINTER TREVE 2021. In the context of the coronavirus health crisis, and while many households are having difficulty paying their rent, the Minister of Housing has announced the postponement of the winter break for two months.
[Mis à jour le 02 février 2021 à 08h23] This is news that should relieve many homes: the winter break is extended into 2021. The Minister of Housing, Emmanuelle Wargon, announced in an interview with the Parisian. “I can tell you that the end of the truce has been postponed by two months and will end on June 1 instead of April 1,” she said in the columns of the daily Ile-de-France. “This decision to extend also leads to a truce on energy cuts following unpaid heating bills. This extension is necessary given the crisis.” This announcement comes as the Abbé Pierre Foundation has submitted a report on “The State of poor housing in France”, in which the association anticipates an explosion in unpaid rent due to the health crisis. “We must react now and that is why we are asking for the creation of a national fund to help pay rents and charges of 200 million euros”, indicates the general delegate of the Abbé Pierre Foundation at Parisian. For her part, the minister says she is studying the proposal. As a reminder, the winter break is a period during which landlords cannot initiate eviction proceedings against their tenants. Every year, it starts on November 1 and ends on March 31 of the following year.
With the coronavirus health crisis, are you afraid of a sharp drop in income and of no longer being able to pay your rent? Take the initiative and notify your landlord now-lessor ! Seek to reach an amicable agreement with him, like setting artwork a repayment schedule for your rental debt. You can also contact the National Agency for Housing Information (Anil). It has set up a free number entitled “SOS unpaid rent” on 0805 160 075. Last year, the government also decided to extend the period of the winter break. The 2019-2020 winter break then ended on July 10, 2020. After this deadline, rental evictions were however only authorized if a rehousing solution was found.
The winter break covers the five months of the cold season. Like every year, so it starts November 1, and runs until March 31 of the following year. The 2014 law for access to housing and renovated town planning (Alur) extended the duration of this truce, which previously ended on March 15. In this way, French law secures the right to housing, and guarantees tenants that they cannot be evicted during the time of the year when it is coldest. However, there are exceptions to this rule. In 2021, the Minister of Housing, Emmanuelle Wargon announced the postponement of two months. The end date of the winter break in 2021 is therefore set for June 1, 2021.
All tenants are affected by the winter break, regardless of their personal situation and resources. The exception relates to “squatters,” that is, people who entered the premises by assault, without the consent of the landlord and without having signed a lease. The 2014 Alur Act relaxed this measure against squatters, but the 2018 Elan Act restored it. Squatters can thus be subject to eviction proceedings during the winter break.
In principle, a tenant cannot be evicted from the accommodation he occupies for the duration of the winter break, regardless of the reason for which the owner has initiated proceedings: unpaid rent, neighborhood disturbances, lack of insurance, etc. There are, however, special cases in which expulsion remains possible:
- if the expulsion is accompanied by a relocation solution adapted to family needs tenants (if the accommodation offered in return consists of a sufficient number of rooms in relation to the number of occupants);
- if the occupation of the accommodation represents a risk for its tenants (building that has been the subject of a peril) ;
- if the tenant who is the subject of a procedure is the spouse of the lessor, when there is a situation of violence, or in the context of a divorce.
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The winter break secures accommodation during the cold season. This sanctuary extends to energy suppliers. Concretely, operators are prohibited from cutting electricity in homes during the winter break, whatever the situation – especially in the event of unpaid bills.
They can, however, under certain conditions, reduce the power supplied. “If your subscription is 6 kVA or more, you will be limited to 3 kVA”, explains the National Institute of Consumption (INC) on its site. This also applies to gas suppliers. The purpose of this measure is to guarantee access to heating and electricity to all tenants. Please note: however, energy consumption during this period is still due!
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Once the winter break is over, the owner who has obtained a judgment in his favor is entitled to enforce it, and to request the eviction of the tenants. He must send them a command to leave the premises, then, if necessary, call in the police. In addition, the suspension of evictions during the winter break does not prevent the owner from initiating proceedings, and obtaining a judgment, with the possibility of enforcing the judge’s decision from April 1.