Francine's tenant left her apartment in the dump. However, due to the inaccurate description of the site, she is now the one who has to pay all the costs. “I even have to pay 3,700 euros to the other party. It is clear that justice no longer exists,” say our colleagues at RTL.
The man rented the property near La Louviere for twelve years. However, in the past two years, the situation has gotten completely out of control.
Francine said: “He is schizophrenic and suffers from mental illness, which means he does not dare to leave his familiar environment.” “In addition, he has also been diagnosed with Diogenes Syndrome (which means that he neglects himself, lives in unsanitary conditions, and suffers from the urge to collect things, causing him to fill his house with unusable trash; editor).” His mother used to renovate the apartment every week, but two years ago he once assaulted her. Since then she didn't dare come anymore.
“Water leakage on the upper floor”
With all the consequences that entail… “Everything seemed normal from the outside, but on the inside it was a completely different story,” says Francine. “The windows were shattered, the upstairs almost collapsed due to the water leaking… and the only thing he took with him was his computer and the TV. So the whole house was still full of rubbish, so I was allowed to drag everything out on my own.
Francine decided to file a complaint, but she returned from a trip naked. “The judge ruled that I lied because I could not prove the source of all this damage. I had to fix everything and pay another 3,700 euros to the other party. In the end, he stopped paying his rent.”
Insurance only (slightly) covers damage to the roof. “These are always very complex issues,” Gilles Olivier also knows. As a lawyer specializing in real estate law.
“Landlords have the right to visit once a year. This way they can check whether the tenant is managing the property with due diligence. However, this is not done often. If the scene description is prepared randomly and without the presence of an expert, it will be difficult for the judge.” And let's not forget: the tenant must of course have the ability to pay.
Through his job, Olivier often comes into contact with people suffering from Diogenes Syndrome. “If he or she moves, of course the same thing will happen in that new place.”
1 in 1000
ULB researcher Rachida Benslimane estimates that approximately 1 in 1,000 people suffer from this syndrome. “But this number may still be an underestimate,” she knows. “Very little information is known about it because these people live as hermits. So it is difficult to detect such cases. Sometimes the condition stems from childhood trauma.
Recovery is possible, but conditions must be right. “They need to have someone close who can guide them. A sudden evacuation could make the situation worse. They could then end up depressed or neglect themselves to the point of death. Psychosocial support is crucial. I completely understand Francine’s story, but her dignity must also be respected.” the person”.
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