French Property Insider Volume XII, Issue 45 Thursday, November 13, 2014 • Paris, France
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This could be one of the funniest articles in The Local I've come across. Only in France could this be possible -- regulations that previously wouldn't allow the 'potty' direct access to the pots: __________
Ever wished your toilet was just that little bit closer to the cooker? How about right by the sofa? Thanks to a new law passed in France, the dream can become a reality.
Doubtless to the joy of Paris landlords, tireless in their quest to redefine the acceptable size of an apartment, French government ministers Ségolène Royal and Sylvia Pinel passed a decree on November 6th saying that toilet facilities no longer have to be separated from the kitchen or living room.
In what the bill describes as “a process of simplification of regulations,” the change to the building code does away with “the prohibition of direct communication between the closets and kitchens and living rooms,” which will allow contractors to build new toilets in living accommodation, Metro news reported.
Previously, the law had required that toilets were not directly accessible from living rooms or kitchens. While the new law might be welcomed by home builders on a budget, if you don't want to see your privacy go down the pan you might want to do your flat-hunting before December 1st, when the bill comes into force. __________
Illegal tiny apartment - by "Fondation Abbé Pierre"And here's another one about an apartment the size of a toilet!:
The landlord of a “scandalous” Paris apartment the size of a toilet and the estate agent that managed the property have been ordered to pay almost €12,000 damages to a tenant who lived in the hovel for 15 years, paying €300 a month rent.
A ruling by a Paris court on Monday will perhaps be cheered by anyone who has ever found themselves living in a tiny hovel in the French capital.
Judges at a court in Paris on Monday ordered the landlord and the Riberoux estate agents who managed the 1.56-square-meter flat to pay €12,000 damages to the tenant, named only as Dominique, who lived there for 15 years, paying €300 a month rent. That works out as €211 per livable square meter.
The court in Paris's 11th district said the owner of the tiny flat and its property manager had violated city by-laws on the minimum legal size of rentals.
The court ordered the two to pay a total of €10,000 in damages for violation of property rights, €1,000 in moral damages and some €815 to cover relocation expenses.
According to a 2002 French law a flat must have at least 9 square meters of livable space, but that would have felt like a mansion for Dominique, whose cupboard-sized room was without a shower or a toilet. The only furniture or appliances Dominique could fit into his tiny abode was a mattress, sink and humble hob for cooking.
When Dominique’s story broke back in January, it was found that his apartment in the 11th arrondissement of the French capital measured just 1.56 square meters of livable space.
“The rent even rose with inflation,” his lawyer Aurelie Geoffroy previously told 20 Minutes. She had been seeking a total of €25,000 damages for her client but praised the court for sending a message to those who try to rent "micro-housing".
The tenant’s case was championed by French housing charity the Fondation Abbé Pierre, who were seeking to bring to the public’s attention the number of minuscule apartments being rented out in Paris illegally.
“[When I first saw the apartment], I asked myself ‘how is this possible,’” said Samuel Mouchard from the organization.
“Until then the smallest flat I’d ever seen was three square meters, but Dominique broke that sad record,” he added.
Despite the legal constraints on landlords renting out uninhabitable apartments, some continue to flout the law, according to Mouchard.
“Some landlords are unscrupulous. The law is there but it needs to be enforced,” he said in January.
“Tenants need to know that it’s forbidden. If they have doubts they can go to their local Town Hall where measures can be taken to protect them or to rehouse them,” he added.
But Patrick Doutreligne, from the Abbé Pierre Foundation said the tenant should have received far more in moral damages.
"€1,000 in moral damages is nothing at all - it makes light of human misery," he said, denouncing the flat as "not even a room but a broom closet."
And have you seen the brilliant use of space in the...
Tiniest apartment in Paris (8m2) (from Kitoko Studio)
They found a way to turn a tiny room (8m2) in Paris into a really functional and easy to live apartment (maybe the tiniest one in town) which will be used by an au pair or the kids when they get older! Watch a video of the apartment.
P.S. Tune in to House Hunters International on November 16 at 11:30 p.m. and 2:30 a.m. for "Snapshot of City Life in Paris, France." Ben and Nicole Miller need to choose between an apartment in central Paris full of photo ops and a home closer to Ben's job outside the city so he doesn't need to commute. Watch as I help them find the perfect solution! And be sure to Like our Facebook page.
P.P.S. There will be no French Property Insider issue on Thanksgiving Day, November 27th...for the obvious reasons! (I will be eating turkey and hopefully, so will you!)
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