Insufficient Housing: Definition and Procedure

Insufficient Housing: Definition and Procedure


The state of insalubrity is declared when the observed deteriorations present a serious danger for the occupants or the neighborhood. It may concern a building in its entirety or an occupied or vacant dwelling. In the case of a co-ownership, the insalubrity can affect the common or private parts.

The declaration of insalubrity

The causes often concern problems related to the strength of the building, the absence or non-compliance of the networks (electricity, water, heating and sanitation) and sometimes the discovery of hazardous materials during real estate diagnoses, such as l asbestos or lead.

As soon as a case is declared, the DASS ( Department of Sanitary and Social Affairs ) is seized and writes a report to the prefect of the department. He then consults the departmental council of hygiene (CDH) before making the necessary decisions.

The different situations

The different situations

Case of irremediable insalubrity

If the DASS considers that the problem can not be solved by works, the prefectural decree may then prohibit the occupants from continuing to lodge. Some cases of irremediable insalubrity can force the prefect to order the demolition of the building.

Case of remediable insalubrity

If, on the other hand, the DASS considers that it is a case of insalubrity remediable, the prefect will specify by order prefectural in which time the work will be carried out as well as their conditions of execution.

Tenants and relocation

Tenants may suspend the payment of rents from the notification of the order of insalubrity. When the dwellings have been struck with a temporary prohibition of occupation, the owner has the obligation to find a solution for relocation for the tenant during the period of the work. The costs incurred by the relocation being borne by the owner.

The obligation to inform

If the prefect concludes that he is unsanitary, he must inform the occupants of the building one month before consulting the HRC . The latter can then inform the prefect of their remarks.
The notification of the order is transmitted to the owners. When the work concerns the common parts of a co-ownership, this notification is then given to the trustee, at his charge to inform then the occupants.

It can also proceed by public display at the town hall of the place of residence and on the building itself.

Execution of unsanitary work

Upon notification of the declaration of insalubrity, the owner has a deadline to have the work done. When these are carried out in accordance with the specifications drawn up by the prefect, the latter then requests the release of the order.

Release of the order

The prefect notes by order the conformity of the realization of the prescribed works and their date of completion. He pronounces the release of the decree.

Case where the work was not executed

The owner who does not perform the work within the prescribed time receives a formal notice to perform the work. Otherwise, the mayor or the prefect may order the ex officio execution of the works to be borne by the owner.

If the landlord attempts to re-let the property, he faces a sentence of up to two years imprisonment and a fine of up to € 75,000.

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