It is far from obvious for a lessor to recover a premises abandoned by its tenant.
And even if everything shows that the tenant no longer lives in the premises and that they are abandoned, the landlord cannot simply recover the home by throwing the furniture in the landfill and changing the locks.
It's a home invasion!
And needless to say that it is strongly advised against any landlord to take advantage of the vacation or the prolonged absence of the tenant to implement this procedure. Any dilatory or deceptive action would result in a conviction for abusive proceedings and a fine of 3 euros.
In order to implement this procedure, it is necessary to consider that the tenant has abandoned the home "with a wooden bell", leaving behind his belongings and / or, very often, arrears of rent.
The owner will then have to request a bailiff to draw up a report of abandonment and then file a legal action to obtain the termination of the lease and finally recover the living quarters.
The bailiff's report
The bailiff must send a formal notice to the tenant. In the event of arrears of rents, he will have to serve him a command to pay which will also contain a formal notice.
In the absence of response from the tenant after one month, the bailiff will draw up a report of abandonment of the living room. He will then be authorized to enter the premises under the same conditions of a foreclosure-sale, i.e. in the presence of the mayor of the municipality, a municipal councilor or an agent delegated for this purpose, to a police authority and two neutral witnesses, having no connection with the owner or the bailiff.
The bailiff draws up an abandonment report and an inventory of the goods left behind. It is this report of abandonment that will make it possible to seize the judge.
The proceedings before the magistrate
The procedure is governed by decree n ° 2011-945 of August 10, 2011, relating to the termination of residential leases and repossession of the premises in the event of abandonment and the office of the judge is specified in article 19 of the decree n ° 2015-282 of March 11, 2015.
Only the judge of the district court is competent. It can be seized on request, that is to say without the adversary having been previously informed, addressed to the registry.
The request must contain all the information relating to the lessor and the tenant (identity, address, profession, etc.) as well as all the supporting documents in support of the request, including the order to pay (or formal notice) and the trial. -verbal of abandonment drawn up by the bailiff.
Except in an emergency, the request must include all the elements showing that due diligence in order to settle the conflict amicably has been carried out.
If the judge, in view of the documents produced, refuses to consider the property as abandoned (recent departure, long hospitalizations, incarceration, etc.), the lessor will have to initiate an eviction procedure to recover the accommodation.
If the judge grants the landlord a right, he will issue an order which will pronounce:
- termination of the lease
- the resumption of the premises
- the amount of the debt in the event of unpaid debts
- the authorization to auction off the goods seized in the abandoned premises (to reimburse the sums due in arrears of rent and execution costs)
The decision must be served personally on the tenant, failing which a notice in the letterbox will inform him that he can withdraw it at the bailiff's office, even if it is the mailbox of the apartment which has been found to have been abandoned!
The service must specify, on pain of nullity, the means and time limits for appeal, as well as the means of removing personal effects.
The tenant will have 1 month to contest the order by declaration to the clerk of the District Court which rendered the decision.
The case will then be judged on the merits during an adversarial hearing and the judge will render a judgment which will be substituted for the order.