The Enforcement Act allows evictions in two cases during the winter moratorium: if the person concerned was an unlawful tenant (a “squatter”) or was subjected to a fine during the proceedings. However, according to the experience of the Streetlawyer Association, bailiffs (enforcers) tried to put people on the street during the eviction moratorium, some of whom had not fallen into the above categories.
On April 30, the eviction moratorium ends, so from May 1, nothing protects people or families threatened with eviction from losing their homes. The eviction moratorium is an institution governed by the Enforcement Act, which aims to prevent anyone from getting into the streets in winter cold (November 15th to April 30th). There are two exceptions in the law: unlawful tenants and those who have been subjected to a fine in the enforcement proceedings are not protected during the moratorium.
The Streetlawyer Association had several clients for whom eviction was scheduled during the winter moratorium, being classified as an unlawful tenant. However, it is clear from the documents that this is not the case, it is about families who have previously been entitled to use the apartment, only the title has been terminated (eg. the lease is over because it has expired or been terminated in the meantime). On the other hand, an unlawful tentancy is a violation of the law, which means occupying an empty apartment without an appropriate permission (usually of the owner) to establish the lease.
Because of this, we contacted the Hungarian Chamber of Court Bailiffs, asking them to investigate how these procedural irregularities could have occurred. In their reply, we were informed that there had been no infringements. As the cases we have dealt with show the exact opposite, we will ask for further investigation and action. The two exceptions are precisely defined by the law, so their confusion is difficult to understand and certainly illegal. From the point of view of families facing eviction, it is vital that enforcers comply with the laws that protect families. In the specific cases we received, we managed to postpone the evacuation of the apartments after 30 April. However, it is possible that many people were forced to leave their homes in the coldest winter because of a violation of the law.