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HomeSéparateurFocusSéparateurEuropeSéparateurPolandSéparateurEvictions in Poland in European context
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Evictions in Poland in European context

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The UIHJ participated on 7 October 2014 in the 5th international conference organised by the Council of the judicial officers of the Lodz region and the University of Lodz. This year conference was devoted to "Eviction in the 21th Century - Legal Status and reality".

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Evictions in a welfare state: a dilemma
 
The Council of the Judicial Officers of the Lodz Region is organising every year international conferences together with the University of Lodz annual. For the 5th edition, the UIHJ was represented by its Treasurer, Juraj Podkonický.

The opening speech, concerning “eviction between media fiction and reality”, was delivered by Andrzej Ritmann, President of the Regional Council of judicial officers of Lodz. In the opinion of Polish judicial officers, the municipalities should spend more money on social housing. Problems were encountered by judicial officers during the enforcement of evictions, especially those without the debtor's right to social housing. According to Andrzej Ritmann, evictions legal problem lies in the fact that laws allow the possibility of unequal treatment of tenants. The court can make a decision, that there is lack of social housing for an evicted person and a shelter is sufficient enough as a replacement. These persons are awaiting eviction to a shelter, which is - according to some opinions - a violation of their basic rights. “Consent of the legislator to make an eviction to a shelter is equivalent to evict the debtor in the street”, Andrzej Ritmann said.

Rafal Fronczek, President of the Polish National Council of Judicial Officers, believes it is important that this problem has been recognised. The intervention into the legislature is necessary, but the opinion of the Government differs from the position of local judicial officers. According to Rafal Fronczek, the caring for an evicted person should be the concern of the state.

After this interesting opening, philosophical and general views on evictions in EU countries were presented. Juraj Podkonický presented some actual information about the evictions carried out by judicial officers in EU member states. He pointed out that eviction is frequently the last possible issue, how the owner of immovable property can defend against its illegal occupation. However, there are very different views on evictions, even that it is a basic human rights violation and one of the major factors of homelessness. The judicial officers in EU member states are confronted with this dilemma, while the European Union is committed to the protection of human rights. The balance of these interests represents the contemporary fault line between market forces and people's right to housing. An EU-funded research project on evictions across the 28 European Union Member States is in progress. The research will investigate the national legal frameworks and extent of evictions across Europe. Today, the available data are only fragmentary.

Eviction practice in Poland

According to the Polish Chamber of Judicial Officers (figures provided by the Ministry of Justice of Poland), in 2013, 30 794 cases of evictions came to court in Poland. 8 557 requests for eviction were delivered to judicial officers, including 2 506 without the debtor's right to social housing or replacement. 3 131 of them were carried out. The Deputy Director of the Department of Buildings of the City of Lodz, Przemysław Mroczkowski, presented the Town hall's position to evictions. In Lodz, only 18% public resources belong to the municipality and the local government cannot provide social housing to the evicted persons, even in contrariety to court injunctions. Lodz also pays high damages to property owners for failure of assuring the social housing for the evicted persons. According to Andrzej Rozenkowski, President of the Association of Property Owners in Lodz, it also takes too long to come to an eviction procedure. Usually, it takes several years, which does not give the owners chance of obtaining rent incomes. In desperation, they often rather sell the house with tenants.

Such were some of the important issues that were discussed during this 5th international conference. The right balance between creditors and debtors' rights is particularly difficult to find when it comes to evictions. And in between, are the judicial officers...
 
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Opening of the conference : from left to right: Juraj Podkonický, Deputy Vice-President of the UIHJ, Rafal Fronczek, President of the Polish National Council of Judicial Officers, Andrzej Ritmann, President of the Regional Council of judicial officers of Lodz, Zbigniew Rau, professor at the Faculty of Lodz, Director of the Alexis de Tocqueville Research Center
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From left to right: Przemysław Mroczkowski, Deputy Director of the Department of Buildings of City of Lodz, Juraj Podkonický, Deputy Vice-President of the UIHJ, Andrzej Ritmann, President of the Regional Council of judicial officers of Lodz, Rafal Fronczek, President of the Polish National Council of Judicial Officers and Andrzej Rozenkowski, President of the Association of Property Owners of Lodz
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