Sentenced to pay a fine of €9,000 for renting an HLM
A tenant irregularly sublet her social housing. The Versailles Court of Appeal ordered it to pay the Public Treasury a fine of 9,000 euros, in a decision rendered on November 15 (no. 21/05889). This is the maximum amount that a judge can demand – which is rarely the case – from a tenant who illegally sublets his accommodation. The sanction is greater than the amount of the sub-rents received by the tenant, namely 800 euros per month over 7 months (i.e. 5600 €). “In this case, the court denounces a misappropriation of the social purpose of housing. The fine is a sanction for the violation of the obligation of personal occupation of the premises, social housing being allocated subject to means testing“, explains Maître Pierre de Plater, lawyer in real estate law, who evokes the court decision in a LinkedIn post.
No subletting in social housing
The sanction is heavier for this tenant because she has already been sentenced at first instance and has seen her lease terminated. She continued to sublet her property while contesting the termination of the lease, after the first judgment. Additionally, when a tenant occupy social housing, he has rights but also obligations. He cannot therefore sublet his property. The lucrative activity of subletting is contrary to social housing which is reserved for people with low resources. According to the Court, it caused harm to all the people waiting to be allocated housing under a social lease. “We are witnessing a differentiation in the treatment of irregular subletting of private sector housing on the one hand, and HLM housing on the other. On this aspect, it seems more risky to irregularly sublet social housing than housing in the private rental sector.», laments Maître de Plater.
With regard to private accommodation, a tenant is entitled to sublet his accommodation only after having obtained the green light from the landlord. If he sublet without the prior consent of the ownerhe risks seeing his lease terminated and he will have to reimburse the lessor for the rents illegally received during the subletting, according to article 8 of the law of July 6, 1989.