France’s winter eviction truce extended until July

France's winter eviction truce extended until July
Photos: AFP
French landlords will be unable to evict tenants who are in arrears until July, after the country's 'winter truce' was extended due to the coronavirus situation.

Tenants under pressure from their landlords to leave the property they are renting will breathe a sigh of relief now that the country’s trêve hivernale, which usually only covers the winter has been pushed back until the summer.

France’s Minister for Housing Julien Denormandie made the announcement on Thursday, telling France Info that a specific date to end the truce in July was due to be discussed in parliament.

“I will ensure that under no circumstances police can be used to carry out evictions, no eviction at all will be carried out,” Denormandie stated.

“No one can claim that, during this health crisis, there should be people evicted from their homes.”

Denormandie, who told France Info that “every year, nearly 15,000 families are evicted from their homes”, added that “20,000 rooms” had become available in France, in particular thanks to the temporary requisition of “thousands of hotel rooms”.

In total, 180,000 people are currently “provided shelter by state services and associations” in France, according to the minister.

La trêve hivernale usually runs for five months from November 1st until March 31st and marks a period when French landlords are not legally allowed to evict their tenants for any reason.

The truce is meant as a humanitarian measure to ensure people don't become homeless and end up sleeping on the cold winter streets.

Up until now, the end of the truce coincides with the arrival of spring and warmer weather.

From April 1st, police or bailiffs can start carrying out eviction notices that have been piling up throughout the winter months or weren't carried out before the truce came into effect.

The rules of the truce also prevent landlords and providers from cutting off gas and electricity to tenants during the time period. However, it doesn't cover those living in squats or buildings deemed dangerous.

France’s eviction truce is highly contentious and often features as one of the main grievances of protesters during demonstrations against rising rents in France.

The number of households affected rises each year and now that the pandemic has left one in three French workers on temporary unemployment, the prospect of thousands of people losing their jobs and not being able to afford their rent is even more real in post-Covid-19 France. 

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