• France edition
Mother and baby evicted from 4m² Paris flat

Mother and baby evicted from 4m² Paris flat

Published: 21 Jan 2013 09:57 GMT+01:00
Updated: 21 Jan 2013 15:00 GMT+01:00

A mother and her baby have been evicted from a 4-square-metre flat in the middle of winter, a French housing charity reported on Monday, highlighting another case of an unscrupulous Paris landlord.

Last week The Local reported the ‘scandalous’ case of a tenant, who lived for 15 years in a 1.56 square metre flat in Paris at a cost of €300 a month. The housing horror story this week is the case of a single mother and her baby kicked out on the streets in the middle of one of the worst cold snaps to hit the country in recent years.

In the latest incident to highlight the shocking living conditions of some residents in the capital the charity Fondation Abbé Pierre reported the mother was booted out of her flat in the capital’s 14th arrondisement for failing to pay the €200 rent.

Her landlord took the step of piling all her belongings in the corridor before changing the locks on the door.

“We were shocked to find a 4-square-metre apartment which should have been closed under law,” Fondation Abbé Pierre’s Patrick Doutreligne told Europe1 radio. “This is a place where you put boxes and suitcases, not a person and certainly not a woman with a child.”

The landlord could find herself in hot water with authorities because French law prohibits evicting tenants during winter months. The landlord also faces the risk of prosecution due to the fact it is illegal to rent out flats smaller than 9-square-metres.

According to French daily Le Parisien the mother’s living conditions were highlighted to authorities in June last year but no action was taken to close the flat.

“Police took seven months to react to this,” Doutreligne told the paper. “The landlord now has an obligation to rehouse this tenant in suitable accommodation.”

In an interview with French radio RTL later on Monday French government spokeswoman Najat Vallaud-Belkacem described the mother's case as "intolerable" and said the landlord will be pursued through the courts.

"The housing crisis is encouraging abusive behaviour that we need to fight against," she said.

Fondation Abbé Pierre estimates that 20 percent of the cases it deals with involve people living in apartments smaller than the legal limit.

Last week the charity told The Local how landlords in the capital continue to take advantage of the housing shortage by renting out sub-standard accommodation to vulnerable tenants.

“Some landlords are unscrupulous. The law is there but it needs to be enforced,” Samuel Mouchard said.

“Tenants need to know that it’s forbidden. If they have doubts they can go to their local Town Hall where measures can be taken to protect them or to rehouse them.”

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

2013-02-16 20:16:18 by casper
Perhaps the tenant was not paying her rent.. Come spring she would leave and owe the landlord for a years worth of rent.

There should be less laws and it should start with a tenant can't be evicted in winter. A deadbeat is still a deadbeat even if there is a law!!!!!
Today's headlines
Assad using chemical weapons: Hollande
French President Francois Hollande pictured on April 20th 2014. AFP Photo: Thomas Samson

Assad using chemical weapons: Hollande

France has "information" but no firm proof that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime is still using chemical weapons, President Francois Hollande said Sunday. READ () »

PSG on course for double after cup triumph
PSG's galaxy of stars celebrate their French League Cup win over Lyon. AFP Photo/Franck Fife

PSG on course for double after cup triumph

Paris Saint-Germain won France's League Cup on Saturday, beating Lyon 2-1 in the final at the Stade de France to secure the first leg of a likely domestic double. READ () »

Freed journalists back on French soil
Francois Hollande welcomes French journalists Didier Francois, Edouard Elias, Nicolas Henin and Pierre Torres at the Villacoublay air base southwest of Paris. AFP Photo/Thomas Samson

Freed journalists back on French soil

Four French journalists taken hostage in Syria arrived home on Sunday to an emotional reunion with family and colleagues after spending 10 months in captivity in the world's most dangerous country for the media. READ () »

French reporters held captive in Syria set free
Didier Francois, Edouard Elias, Pierre Torres and Nicolas Henin. AFP Photo / Chris Huby/ Haytham Pictures/ Torres Family / Benoit Schaeffer

French reporters held captive in Syria set free

Four French journalists held captive in Syria for almost a year were free and "in good health" on Saturday, President Francois Hollande told AFP, saying they would be back in France within hours. READ () »

Euro hunt for French girl ends in her hometown
Europe-wide search for missing French girl ends in her hometown. Photo: AFP

Euro hunt for French girl ends in her hometown

A Europe-wide hunt for a missing 15-year-old French girl ended in her hometown on Friday where she was located with a 48-year-old family friend who was suspected of abducting her. Police believed the friend was suicidal. READ () »

French MP proposes puppy custody law
A French lawmaker wants puppies looked after in case of a divorce. Photo: Robbee/Flickr

French MP proposes puppy custody law

Who gets custody of a dog after a divorce? A French lawmaker has proposed a bill to create a legal framework to answer precisely that and other tricky questions surrounding pets. READ () »

Threat letter to French mosque praises far right
A mosque in the Paris suburbs has gotten a threat tied to the recent election of far-right National Front mayor. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

Threat letter to French mosque praises far right

After pork products turned up in the mailbox of a suburban Paris mosque along with a threatening letter praising the town's recently elected far-right National Front mayor, muslims are concerned about a "worrying" local shift. READ () »

'Slavery' protesters slash hundreds of Velib' tires
Hundreds of Velib' bike tires slashed in 'slavery' protest. Photo: Cyril Folliot/AFP

'Slavery' protesters slash hundreds of Velib' tires

Far-left activists slashed the tires on over 360 Velib’ bikes in Paris this week in protest of the ‘slave’ labour the programme’s operator uses to repair vandalized bikes. The vandals could themselves end up 'slave' labour. READ () »

New scandal means more bad news for president
France's president was smacked with his administration's latest embarrassing scandal. Photo: Alain Jocard/AFP

New scandal means more bad news for president

The latest blow to struggling President François Hollande came on Friday when a close aide quit over allegations he'd used taxpayer money to support a posh lifestyle and appeared to have breached conflict of interest barriers. READ () »

French bank bosses to explain 'indecent' pay
France's economy minister wants bank bosses to explain their "indecent" pay. Photo: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP

French bank bosses to explain 'indecent' pay

France’s economy minister, outraged by huge pay hikes the bosses of the country’s biggest banks have awarded themselves in the past year, called the chiefs to a meeting to “explain” their “indecent” pay. READ () »

VIDEO: Take a look inside Paris’s first luxury hotel for cats
French parents are the most laidback about their kids' education. True?
What do French TV viewers complain about the most? Yes it's English
Business & Money
French tax declarations: The key points to remember
French slang: Everyday words you need to know (but use cautiously)
Paris cops told to ‘purge’ Roma from posh neighbourhood
VIDEO: ‘Anti-French’ Cadillac ad sparks anger in France. See why.
Buying property in France? Here's 10 things you need to think about
What will the future map of France look like? The answer lies within.
'The 27 French regions aren't the problem, it's the 36,000 towns'
Ex underage call girl Zahia picked to embody Marie Antoinette
Buying a house in France? Ten things you need to think about
France bans work emails after 6pm! Sadly it's not quite true.
Reader Rants: Why don't the French do charity? Is it down to taxes?
VIDEO: The Paris zoo is back but this time the animals are in charge
This will be the most expensive road in France - Only €1.66bn for 12km!
Only in France? Gourmet pensioners party lands village in hot water
What's the worst thing to do when you realise you're on the wrong train?
From showers to kissing: Anglos tell Twitter what's weird about France
'A big quake will hit France and there will be casualties' - Scientist warns
After all the dozens of books is France still worth writing about?
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Paris or the suburbs - where would you live?
VIDEO: Walk the line - crossing the Seine on a tightrope
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se