The Court of Cassation spoke about the case of a squatter injured due to a lack of maintenance of said squatted accommodation by its owner. The latter must therefore ensure the maintenance of the premises, judges the court. Explanations. This is a judgment that may seem surprising. The Court of Cassation looked into a squat case where the roles seemed to be reversed. The squatter of a dwelling lodged a complaint against his landlord after a domestic accident resulting from a lack of maintenance. Following this case, the Court of Cassation decided in favor of the illegal occupier of the premises. A case relayed by our colleagues from Parisian. An accidental fall in question The court had ordered a year before the facts the order to leave the residence. The squatter was no longer paying the rent and his landlord was asking for tens of thousands of euros. Shortly after, the said squatter was injured, “fell to the ground from the kitchen window of the rented property, following the breakage of the guardrail”, indicates the Court of Cassation. The latter then attacked the owner and pointed his finger at his responsibility. Lack of maintenance of the building The Court of Cassation ruled on this subject on September 15, in Appeal No. 19-26.249. For the Court, “the occupation without right or title of real estate by the victim cannot constitute a fault such as to exonerate the owner of the building from his liability”, in particular when “it is established that the accident suffered by the latter results from the lack of maintenance of the building. The breakage of the guardrail therefore resulted from a lack of maintenance attributed to the owner of the premises. “No fault (…) of such a nature as to exclude or reduce his right to compensation”, cannot be held against the squatter of the accommodation. In other words, the owner must maintain his dwelling even if it is squatted illegally, against his will.
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