Evictions Due to Rent Arrears: A Comparative Analysis of Evictions in 14 Countries

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Presentation by Susanne Gerull, Alice Salomon Hochschule Berlin, Germany, at the 2013 FEANTSA Research Conference, Alice Salomon Hochschule Berlin, 20th September 2013

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Evictions Due to Rent Arrears: A Comparative Analysis of Evictions in 14 Countries

  1. 1. EUROPEAN RESEARCH CONFERENCE Housing First. What’s Second? Berlin, 20th September 2013 Evictions due to rent arrears A Comparative Analysis of Evictions in 14 countries Susanne Gerull Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences Insert your logo here
  2. 2. EUROPEAN RESEARCH CONFERENCE Housing First. What’s Second? Berlin, 20th September 2013 Research Questions Rent arrears are one of the most important reasons to be evicted. Comparing 14 European countries I wanted to find out: Are there differences in  the problem’s dimension?  the legal basis?  the preventive measures? Are there national strategies to prevent evictions?
  3. 3. EUROPEAN RESEARCH CONFERENCE Housing First. What’s Second? Berlin, 20th September 2013 Research Design 1. Checking all country reports and comparative articles provided by FEANTSA & EJoH-articles using keywords like “rent arrears”, “evict...” etc. 2. Compilating the findings using a standardised questionnaire for each country 3. Requesting experts for completion, updates and comments 4. Analysing and comparing the data
  4. 4. EUROPEAN RESEARCH CONFERENCE Housing First. What’s Second? Berlin, 20th September 2013 Housing 0,0% 5,0% 10,0% 15,0% 20,0% 25,0% 30,0% 35,0% 40,0% 45,0% AT BE CZ DK FI FR DE IE NL PL PT ES SE UK Housing in % Rented dwellings (% of population) Social rental dwellings (% of housing market Data from 2009
  5. 5. EUROPEAN RESEARCH CONFERENCE Housing First. What’s Second? Berlin, 20th September 2013 Housing 0,00% 0,20% 0,40% 0,60% 0,80% 1,00% 1,20% AT DK FI FR NL PL SE UK Eviction Rates in % % of households % of rented dwellings Numbers of evictions decreased in AT, PL, SE and increased in FI, FR (available Data 2011) Data from 2009
  6. 6. EUROPEAN RESEARCH CONFERENCE Housing First. What’s Second? Berlin, 20th September 2013 Housing: Connections A statistical computation showed that  a high rate of rented dwellings does not lead to a high rate of evictions per households (r=0,175 / very weak correlation)  a high %age of social rental dwellings doesn‘t increase the risk of evictions (r=0,36 / weak correlation) The findings have to be interpreted very carefully because of the few countries providing data about evictions
  7. 7. EUROPEAN RESEARCH CONFERENCE Housing First. What’s Second? Berlin, 20th September 2013 Legal Conditions Legal conditions for an application to court and a court decision are very different  1 to 3 months of rent arrears necessary  In some countries the legal procedure depends on the type (e. g. in England) or length (e. g. IE) of tenancy  Only a few countries provide a „protection period“ (regulation of rent arrears makes the notice to quit legally void), e. g. DE, NL, PT, SE
  8. 8. EUROPEAN RESEARCH CONFERENCE Housing First. What’s Second? Berlin, 20th September 2013 Evictions In most countries the procedure of the evictions is regulated by law. Present at the eviction is usually  The bailiff, the landlord (or representative), a locksmith, a removal firm and sometimes the police Special regulations/policies:  „Moratoire hivernal“ in France (no evictions in winter)  Evictions for rent arrears only by providing substitute accomodation in Poland  No evictions of children in Sweden
  9. 9. EUROPEAN RESEARCH CONFERENCE Housing First. What’s Second? Berlin, 20th September 2013 Preventive Measures (1)  In a lot of countries municipalities has to be informed when someone is threatened by eviction: e. g. AT, BE, DK, FI, DE, SE, and UK (Scotland) In most of the cases this is regulated by law  Pro-active support usually is provided e. g. in AT, FR, DE and NL Often by NGOs sometimes only for tenants in social housing (e. g. BE, CZ)
  10. 10. EUROPEAN RESEARCH CONFERENCE Housing First. What’s Second? Berlin, 20th September 2013 Preventive Measures (2)  In some countries public authorities can regulate rent arrears to avoid evictions, e. g. in AT, DK, FR, DE, PT and SE  In some countries this is only possible  in some regions (BE, ES)  in special cases (children/disabilities etc.)
  11. 11. EUROPEAN RESEARCH CONFERENCE Housing First. What’s Second? Berlin, 20th September 2013 Preventive Measures (3)  7 of 14 surveyed countries have national strategies incl. preventive measures (DK, FI, FR, NL, PT, SE, UK), 1 country only on local levels (ES)  Preventive strategies are mostly a part of a wider strategy against homelessness and include e. g.  The aim of a decrease of evictions (e. g. NL, SE)  Regulations for better cooperations (e. g. FI)  a budget (e. g. DK)
  12. 12. EUROPEAN RESEARCH CONFERENCE Housing First. What’s Second? Berlin, 20th September 2013 Comprehensive Findings  Procedures and the process in general are complicated for the tenants in almost all countries  „Good practice“ doesn‘t mean to have a strategy (AT, PL)  Strong legal protection of tenants and people in need doesn‘t lead to a strategy avoiding evictions (DE)  „National programme“ doesn‘t mean sufficient possibilities to avoid evictions (DK)  National programmes don‘t lead necessarily to reduced numbers of evictions (FI, FR) Differences among the surveyed countries are significant but causal connections ill-advised
  13. 13. EUROPEAN RESEARCH CONFERENCE Housing First. What’s Second? Berlin, 20th September 2013 Conclusions  1. Preventive strategies have to include  A legal framework protecting tenants and people in need  A sufficient budget  Housing advisory and counselling services  Enough affordable housing 2. Strategies have to be coordinated between the departments for housing and social affairs 3. Local strategies have to be coordinated within a national strategy
  14. 14. EUROPEAN RESEARCH CONFERENCE Housing First. What’s Second? Berlin, 20th September 2013 References / Support A list with all (published) references can be requested: mail@susannegerull.de Many thanks to: Assistant for collecting information: Svenja Ketelsen Experts: Austria: Heinz Schoibl / Renate Kitzmann Belgium: Pascal De Decker / Thijs Callens Czech: Jiří Růžička / Dominika Najvert Denmark: Lars Benjaminsen Finland: Taina Hytönen France: Claire Lévy-Vroelant Ireland: Eoin O’Sullivan Poland: Magdalena Mostowska Portugal: Isabel Baptista Sweden: Sten-Åke Stenberg UK: Nicholas Pleace Other facilitators: Austria: Marc Diebäcker Germany: Volker Busch-Geertsema FEANTSA: Suzannah Young

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