Useful information for people at risk of eviction

GENERAL ADVICE

Act in time!

Eviction is almost always preceded by a lengthy process: debt accumulates, residents will receive letters of formal notice, if they live in the apartment under a lease contract, the contract is terminated etc.

It is important to ask for help at the very beginning of this process, because there are many more options (legal and otherwise) at the beginning than when the bailiff already announces the date of the eviction.

Preparing for the loss of the apartment

Do not postpone housing decisions until the last minute! An eviction is a serious event and it indisposes the affected persons. Prepare yourself in time and make the necessary practical preparations in case you cannot prevent eviction.

Legal information

Be aware of your rights and obligations! If you seek legal help on time, it can save your housing.

Assure of adequate housing

–          Ask your family members if they can help!
–          Find out about cheap rental options on time!
–          Be aware of the support options available, contact your municipality and find out what they can do for you.
–          Inquire about the conditions and process of housing tenders announced by the district municipalities.
–          If you do not have the opportunity to move to a cheap apartment, explore all possible accommodation options (e.g. transitional home for families, women’s shelter, homeless shelter, worker hostel).

Suspension of judicial enforcement

Although the enforcement can be suspended in the rarest of cases, it is not entirely impossible. The court responsible for enforcement may exceptionally suspends the enforcement at the request of the debtor if he can prove his reasonable circumstances and he has not previously been sentenced to a disciplinary fine. Reasonable circumstances may be the high number of dependents of the debtor, a persistent and serious illness of the debtor or his dependent, or a natural disaster during the enforcement. The suspension can be ordered once for a maximum of 6 months.

In the case of an enforcement proceeding for eviction, it is possible to extend the deadline for voluntary moving out by 90 days. This application must be made to the bailiff within 15 days of receipt of the enforceable title, if the resident has not previously been sentenced to a disciplinary fine and has no other place of residence.

With these tools, the eviction cannot be stopped, it can only be postponed. Still, you can gain time, and many times that matters. Legal support is needed to assess when these procedures are applicable, so it is important that you seek professional advice.

Class action

Contact advocacy organizations so that we can advance our interests together. Move on time, because it is hardly possible to save homes in the last minutes.

SPECIFIC ADVICE

Lessees:

–          The lack of a proper address makes it difficult to enforce your rights. (e.g. you are entitled to debt management if your residence is declared)
–          If you have a rental contract, the landlord must sign your address declaration form. If he refuses to do so, he is breaking the law.
–          If you do not have a rental agreement, the landlord is not obliged to consent to your declaration of residence. However, it is also important to know that the declaration of residence does not have any disadvantages for the owner, so be sure to try to agree with the landlord about the declaration of residence.
–          Good to know: you do not need the landlord’s consent if you have a valid private document with full probative value (signed by 2 witnesses, certified by a notary, countersigned by a lawyer) or a public document (lease agreement) entitling you to use the apartment. In this case, the document must be submitted to the district office together with the address declaration form.

Persons affected by arrears on utility bills:

–          Ask your energy service providers about the category of “vulnerable customers” you may fall into that category so you can become eligible for subsidies. Also contact the district family center for support options.
–          Contact your service provider (e.g. electricity, gas) and inquire about possibilities of payment by instalments. It is important to move on time here as well, because the smaller the arrearages, the easier it is to find solutions.

Persons living in municipal rental housing:

–          Start working with the district family center as soon as possible and find out if you have received all the support you would have been entitled to. They can also help with debt management here.
–          Conciliate with your municipality about your options. Ask for an appointment with the mayor and / or the head of the housing department. Ask for fairness, installment payment or individual assessment.

Persons with real estate loan:

–          Conciliate with the creditor (e.g. bank, financial institution) to reschedule the loan. There are many options to do this, but the first step is up to you!
–          Conciliate with the bailiff as well (e.g. ask for fairness or payment delay).

Squatters:

–          In the case of an arbitrary occupation of a dwelling within one year, the eviction may also be ordered in a notary’s property protection procedure. You can prove the date of moving in with the help of neighbors or officials related to the family (e.g. family caretaker, nurse, postman).
–          During the eviction proceedings, the notary of the same municipality where the arbitrary occupation was made may not act. The notary of the district must transfer the case to another municipality. If this is not the case, the procedure is illegal.
–          In case of arbitrary occupation of a dwelling for more than one year, squatters can only be evicted by a court order or judgment!
–          Conciliate with the mayor and / or the head of the housing department and ask for fairness, installment payment, individual assessment.