A landlord has been ordered to pay his former tenant €20,000 in compensation after being convicted by a court in Paris for illegally renting out a tiny studio flat of only 5.78m².
Despite the flat, located in the capital’s 11th arrondissement, being well under the legal minimum size of 9m² the unscrupulous landlord was charging the tenant €430 a month in rent, French daily Le Parisien revealed on Friday.
The tenant’s lawyer Manuel Raison told the newspaper the flat was so small that the stove’s electric hot plates had blackened the wooden legs of the bed.
It emerged this week the three-year-old legal wrangle began with a dispute over a leak and ended with landlord trying to sue the 37-year-old tenant, known only as Sophie, for unpaid rent. The court however were not sympathetic and instead ordered him to hand over 20,000 compensation.
Paris has long had a reputation for offering cramped living quarters at steep rents but with the financial squeeze and the on-going housing crisis in the capital the situation appears to be getting worse.
In the last week alone several horror stories have come to light of immoral landlords making money out of vulnerable tenants.
In 2010 a study by a regional health agency estimated there were over 177,000 flats in Paris that were potentially legally uninhabitable.