I think this has been asked a few times and I’m sure with it being France the answers are as long as a piece of string.
I have people in my house in the SW of France. It all started amicably and we had an informal (verbal) agreement about the house-sitting arrangement as I needed to come back to UK quickly. (That’s another crappy bit of life)
The verbal agreement got made into a letter (not signed by both parties) as the parties in my house started playing games!
It was just a friendly informal letter, signed for on delivery etc.
The House-sitter have refused a couple if letters asking them to go as they were not upholding their part of the agreement. They have refused both times, even telling me I couldn’t go to stay as THEY had visitors. They are selling my stuff which I specifically asked them not to do in (again) a signed for letter. This was an initial part of the agreement that they could sell goods to pay for the utilities. They never did this so utilities had to be cancelled as I can’t afford it due to my current situation. She has changed her name once and he has changed his twice to get under the radar.
I want my house back to sell it. Feel sad and frustrated as I only did this to help both them and myself at a tough time!!! Please can somebody give me a definitive direction. My next port of call is to get Huissiers in!! ??

Get an avocat. I know someone who knows someone etc who was in your situation and it was very nasty Getting someone out can be beyond difficult. You sound as though splashing Money on a lawyer is difficult but you do need professional advice on this. Good luck

Unfortunately I doubt you can get the Huissiers in just like that Susan. I suspect they would need to be acting on a court order to turf out your awkward house sitters. I think Caroline is probabky right, you need legal advice.

My first port of call would be the Gendarmes/Police to report the theft of the items they have sold.
Something to prove that you owned them such as receipts would be good, plus any photographs of them in situ, but the signed for correspondence is good evidence, but they will probably ask for it to be translated.
I abhor people like this. Fortunately you have been able to change the utilities. This happened to a friend and when she got her property back, the ‘sitter’ had run up bills of over €2000.
I would then tell the Mairie, so they are aware.

I had unsatisfactory tenants… and was told that the only way to get them out was to sell the property.

I went to the Huissier and told them the whole story. They wrote official letters giving Notice etc etc…

Meanwhile I put the property on the market.

Fortunately, an English couple fell in love with the property… they could not understand the muttered threats made by the Tenants… and… phew… finally, the sale went through and the Tenants had to get out…

My recommendation… speak with Huissiers first… (they charge… but nothing like an Advocat) … and they know their job… they will advise how to go about things…

All too familiar
Friends here have a house & gite, & had a friend’s daughter renting the gite…she didn’t pay for 2 years.
Father said he’d do work inside to “pay” rent, but standards were very low & owner said “no more”
Started to get nasty & ended in court.
father of girl had changed the locks; not paid bills; girl refused to leave…etc., etc.
Police will do nothing if no offence has been committed.
In the above case, a hussier said he’s come out to see proof of the change of locks, but was pretty much powerless otherwise.
Court was long & expensive. Ultimately the girl left & was ordered to pay 3k in damages…they’ll never get the money & no-one will enforce it without more court time & expense.

Thank you Stella this was the way i was thinking if going. I have nothing written as a legal contract…signed by both parties. Not in french so apparently not admissable in a french law court. So may try writing to the huissiers. Im petrified of not getting them out. This was what i out everything in my life into!! This couple are British too…awful i have little rights.

Susan… be an idea to send an email to your Mairie as well, to appraise them of the situation.

Now I’m not advising the OP do this but the house we now own was tenanted before we bought it and when the tenant refused to move out the owners simply cut off the water and electricity, he left after a couple of weeks.

I have heard similar versions of story so many times!
What kind of people do this, could it the same few that just keep doing the rounds, if that makes sense?

This is the bit I can’t get my head round. On the one hand, officially changing your name and getting a new passport etc twice a year would be a full time job, while on the other hand if you’re under the radar I don’t see it matters much what you call yourself.

As I understand it, huissier de justice is a strictly regulated profession and if there’s no legal basis I doubt they could act. People often think of them as a kind of rent-a-mob who will do anything they’re paid to do, but in fact they have done legal training in order to qualify and they are obliged to stick rigidly to legal procedures.

If there is no legal agreement I guess you’re own and the upside of that is that if they have no legal right to be there, then you can do what it takes to get them out. It may come down to a battle of wits and cunning, and you’ll have to plan your strategy according to what you think you can get away with - for instance are they bright enough to claim squatters’ rights, how conversant are they with French law and could they convince a French judge? Good luck with it, people like this don’t deserve any sympathy.

Are they British? French people can’t change their names easily (if at all). They might be easier to sling out if they are encroaching foreign squatters.

Brits!!! Make you proud don’t they?? Even the Notaire rolled his eyes when I told him they were Brits.

I don’t want rent a job I want to be more intelligent about it all. I have a translator who will write the letter to the Huissiers to ask if the would act. If not I have been told it’s still my property (I have the Acte De vente etc) and will just go over with a group of motorbike mates and camp on my own land. Nothing aggressive !

Thank you Stella I will send a copy of the correspondence with the Huissiers. I have tried to keep him in touch with various things.

It does make sense…?I think they may have done it to their last House-sit as they were ousted quickly due their dogs apparently!!! Won’t be doing it to anyone again once I’ve done and they are out. House-sitter sites are good at spreading news.

Perhaps have a lot of horse manure delivered for your veg plot.

Thanks all… I’ve decided to go the intelligent route (but believe you me I’ve not wanted to many times) and it’s in legal hands now. I shall use any information I get to help others on here, and elsewhere,in a similar situation. Sad some people are deceiptful when you are an honest person thinking you are helping someone else.

As my old gran used to say “never a lender or borrower be” and that has extended in my life to renting out property. Human nature being what it is, people will sh*t all over you…

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A cousin of mine was in a similar situation. The police would take no action (being civil matter)but mentioned (with a wink) a solution e.g: The owner (or official representative with due documentation):
1 keeps watch on the house.
2 buys new locks
3 organises some friends
4 ‘pounces’ (with friends and a savage dog) on the house while the squatters are absent for a short period,
5 changes the doorlocks
6 dumps the squatters goods on the front yard.
7 calls the police when the squatter return to report attempts at break in
8 provides the police with evidence of ownership, whereupon the police ARE required act.

It worked for her.