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Paris landlord ordered to pay tenant €20,000
File photo: A typical apartment block in Paris where the demand on accomodation often forces people to live in tiny flats, smaller than the legal limit. Photo Katherine/ Flickr

Paris landlord ordered to pay tenant €20,000

Published: 25 Jan 2013 17:38 GMT+01:00

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.

First there was the case of a man who had lived in a 1.56m² square flat for the last 15 years who was paying €300 a month rent.

Days later a story emerged a landlord evicting a single mother and her baby in the middle of winter from a 4.5m² flat because she had not managed to keep up with the €200 a month rent payments.

In 2010 a study by a regional health agency estimated there were over 177,000 flats in Paris that were potentially legally uninhabitable.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

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