‘Renovictions’ loom as EU aims to boost building renovation

(20 Jun 2022) Confronted with an energy crisis and the need to rapidly decarbonise the building sector, the EU is now facing another threat: “renovictions,” where tenants are forced out of houses or apartments due to rent increases imposed after renovation.

Buildings account for around 40% of energy use and 36% of CO2 emissions in Europe. Tackling the EU’s inefficient building stock is seen as key to achieving the bloc’s climate targets and reduce fossil fuel consumption, something the EU is trying to achieve via a recast of its Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD).

But for poor households that are already facing an unprecedented energy price crisis, this may not immediately be good news. 

“We’ve heard about renovictions in Germany. That’s the last thing we want – that people are evicted from their homes due to rising rent,” warned Ciarán Cuffe, a green MEP and the European Parliament’s lead negotiator on the recast EPBD.

‘Renoviction’, a term originally coined in Anglo-Saxon countries, either describes the eviction of tenants so extensive renovation can be conducted, or a de-facto eviction through a significant increase in rent following renovation works.

The issue of renovictions threatens to create fractures in society, something already observed in Canada, where protests and lawsuits have cropped up.

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, 20 Jun 2022: ‘Renovictions’ loom as EU aims to boost building renovation