Winter Truce

I’m a British journalist living in the 7th in Paris. I’ve rented an apartment for a year from an American journalist without papers. I’ve paid the rent until December 31. She changed the locks while I was away in Los Angeles. I returned on Sunday night to find I can’t get in. All my belongings are inside. I don’t have a contract but the winter truce prevents landlords throwing you on the street in winter. She is giving up the flat December 31 and angry that I applied tomFrance Mutualiste to take on the contract. They are dumbfounded she changed the locks after my application was submitted. She has taken 1050 Euros for this month and told me to stay with family that lives an hour away. Police needed a contract. She keeps saying silly things like I can’t have you stay anymore but I’ve paid the rent for a year. I’m penniless and my mum, a work injured nurse, is coming for her first Xmas in years.

Hello Liza and Welcome to the Forum.

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With regard to your query…sounds a right pickle… but, from what you say… you had no contract with the American journalist… so you are surely not classed as a tenant and thus the winter truce will not apply to you. :thinking:

Anyone who is homeless and penniless… can ask the Gendarmes or the Mairie… they will have information about local associations/charities who may be able to help.

Whose family are you referring to,

So it sounds like she was renting the flat, she doesn’t own it? Did she have permission to sub-let? If not, I guess that could be why she is angry that you got a third party involved - if she has been breaking her own tenancy terms and has not been declaring the income to the tax people, she won’t want to risk that coming out.
But without knowing the circumstances, we can only guess at the reasons why she is acting as she is. However from what little you’ve said, it sounds as if she urgently wants nothing more to do with the arrangement, and presumably to protect herself from potential consequences of some kind.


Hi Liza… what happened? How did you cope?


Hi There,

I survived. I lost my UK home. I finally got my stuff back. I didn’t get back into the apartment or have my rent money returned.

It’s been a desperate three months and it profoundly affected my ability to concentrate on a work search.

I’m doing that now, unable to pay my last rent and down to last yoghurt but I’m lucky compared to much of the world.

Thanks so much for asking


Liza… there is help available for folk who find themselves in your situation… ask for the Assistante Sociale at your local Mairie…

I presume you are Freelance, which might or might not be a stumbling block… best of luck anyway…

We are a friendly bunch and will offer advice when we can… but I would ask you to put your Full Name… as per our Terms and Conditions…


Thank you so much. It is Liza Foreman. I am freelance but will try.