An 86-year-old retired merchant will have to pay a hundred thousand euro water bill “inherited” from a group of squatters who had occupied his home. The old man secured the eviction of the criminals just four years after they entered the building, located just north of central Paris. Back in possession of the house he had bought when he was young by opening a mortgage, the French retiree found the house devastated.
The house is collapsing from water seepage and is littered with trash, crumbling furniture and the basement overrun with rats. As if that were not enough, the elderly victim of the occupation received a warning to pay a bill of 97,852 euros for the water used by the squatters. The consumption of the latter exploded after the first visits of the bailiff, the maxi bill could therefore be a revenge of the occupants under eviction. The insurance company Axa Assurance – reports the newspaper The Parisian – he also announced that he would not compensate for damages related to the occupation of the building of 180 square meters on two floors. “It’s not a shock, it’s an earthquake,” said the former trader.
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The trial to obtain the deportation lasted four years, as French authorities were slow to intervene due to the pandemic. Selim’s property, as the owner is called, was indeed occupied in 2018 by squatters who had settled in his accommodation in the Parisian district of Saint-Ouen. The legal process stopped with the health emergency and did not resume until August 2022, more than a year after the court issued an eviction order. After securing the eviction, however, bad news followed for the 86-year-old struggling with a dilapidated home and a sky-high bill to pay.