It is the nightmare of many French people: to see their accommodation squatted overnight, and to find themselves powerless in the face of this occupation.
It must be said that the law, as such, is formal. From a legal point of view, a squatter is a person who has entered the “home of another by means of manoeuvres, threats, assault or coercion”, without having concluded a lease or having a legitimate title. of occupancy. It may therefore be a tenant who has stopped paying his rent, or an individual who has broken into and moved in.
However, the law prohibits owners from dislodging these intruders themselves (according to article 226-4-2 of the Penal Code, eviction by force or threat is punishable by 3 years’ imprisonment and 30,000 euro fine).
To get your accommodation back from a squat, you have to rely on the courts… And get entangled in very long and cumbersome procedures. Sometimes, without any guarantee of finding his property.
Squat Solutions was born about 5 years ago to meet the needs of homeowners who are destitute in the face of this question.
“We identified a need, we saw that it was very difficult to recover your property when it was squatted, and we said to ourselves that we were going to offer a solution to the owners to save the wait”, explains Théo Berthet. , the customer service manager.
Their method? Squat Solutions buys back the squatted property, and tries by all means to dislodge the occupants. “The goal is then to rehabilitate the housing, to restore it, to put it back on the market”, continues Théo Berthet.
The process takes place in several stages, on a case-by-case basis. First, the Squat Solutions teams try to visit the squatted property, “to assess the work”.
Then, the company buys the property, with a discount ranging from 20 to 60%, “depending on the state and the level of complexity of the occupation”, reveals Théo Berthet.
The company therefore inherits the house, but also its squatters.
“We take the place of the owner, we will struggle in his place. But of course, you have to want to separate from your house for that,” he adds.
The Squat Solutions teams then work to dislodge the occupants. “We always try to negotiate before starting legal proceedings, which are very long and expensive. As the saying goes, a bad deal is better than a good lawsuit,” explains the account manager.
For this, the company offers squatters rehousing solutions, or even compensation in exchange for their departure… Capped, however, at 1,000 euros most of the time. “This is the legal limit for a cash transaction, and we are very often confronted with people who do not have a bank account”, explains Théo.
Overall, Squat Solutions’ relationship with occupants is quite decent.
When the dialogue, however, does not succeed, the company then takes legal action. Between the finding of the illegal occupation, the summons, the court hearing, the judgment and the expulsion, it is then necessary to count… “Between 24 and 36 months, during which we will mobilize 150,000 or 200,000 euros” , says Théo Berthet.
The problem of the squat in France is symptomatic, according to him, of a broader situation. “It is the consequence of a shortage of housing, but it is also linked to the monumental difficulty that the owners have to recover their property”, he explains.
A monumental difficulty that the company proposes to relieve you of… Provided you are ready to sell off your house.