The new “anti-squat” law is sometimes unknown to the police

Three squats in two years. An 84-year-old retiree from Toulouse is living a real nightmare. Georges Dematis has to face squatters who have not hesitated to use the hard way to enter his house illegally. Worse, they even threaten the police with legal action if they break into what they consider to be their home.

»READ ALSO – Squatted housing: why are second homes particularly exposed?

Their warning seems to have borne fruit since the police have still not intervened to dislodge the squatter. “We complained twice, the police came to look and that’s it. They didn’t even ask us for a deed of ownership», deplores Marie-Ange, the owner’s daughter, on LCI. Contacted by Le Figaro, the Toulouse police station retorts that the agents could not proceed with the expulsion in the absence of a legal framework. And this is where the shoe pinches for owners.

Since January 1, the “anti-squat” law has changed. Now you can get squatters evicted in up to 72 hours. To do this, you must file a complaint for violation of domicile at the police station and then send a request for eviction to the prefect who has 48 hours to respond to you. He can refuse the help of the public force but will have to justify his rejection. If he accepts your request, the prefect sends a formal notice to the squatter (s) who have 24 hours to leave. If (s) do (s) not do (s), the police can dislodge them. Here is the theory.

»READ ALSO – Squats: why owners do not take off despite the new law

But, in practice, it turns out that it is not that simple. In addition to the complaint to the police station, a judicial police officer must travel to ascertain the offense. Which he does not always do, according to Me Romain Rossi-Landi, lawyer specializing in squat issues (see below). Without this observation, the owner cannot seize the prefect and his file is dragging on, he says. What the Ministry of Housing contests. “The refusal of the OPJ does not prevent the owner from seizing the prefect on the basis of the complaint and the elements showing that it is a domicile. An OPJ cannot refuse to observe. If this observation is missing (from the OPJ), the prefect can himself request that it be carried out»

«A problem of interpretation of the law»

Worse: it seems that the new law is not known to the police. “Either the complaint is rejected because it is not the domicile (in other words the main residence, editor’s note) owners, or because the 48-hour deadline (before filing a complaint) was not respected», Explains Me Rossi-Landi who defends dozens of squat victims per year. However, the new law is formal: the accelerated eviction procedure applies to all residences, main as well as secondary. In addition, the 48 hour time limit no longer applies. Whether you noticed the squat 24 hours or 1 month later, you can file a complaint.

»READ ALSO – Squatted housing: prefects respond to criticism

On the side of the presidential majority who defended this “anti-squat” law, we recognize a “problem of interpretation of the notion of domicile“While rejecting the fact that it is”not clear enough». «There is on one side the law and on the other the interpretation which is made by the forces of order and the services of the State ”, deplores LCI Valérie Gomez-Bassac, member of the Var, spokesperson for the LREM group in the National Assembly. “This law needs to be explained further. The tool exists, you have to use it“, Adds the elected representative who also recalls that”the law cannot foresee everything and must remain general and impersonal“. According to the observatory launched six months ago by the Minister of Housing Emmanuelle Wargon, 77% of owners have recovered their homes thanks to the new law.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.