In France, news that an apartment measuring less than 17 square feet had been rented out for 15 years is being cited as proof of an overly expensive real estate market in Paris. A 50-year-old man identified only as "Dominique" had been paying rent of 330 euros, or about $442, to live in the apartment.
The story was highlighted by the housing advocacy group Fondation Abbe Pierre, after the man asked for help dealing with his landlord. He had been living in a space that measured 1.56 square meters — or about 16.8 square feet.
"I come home, I go to bed," Dominique told the French website and radio station RTL, describing how he coped with living in the space.
A photograph released by the advocacy group shows the apartment has a skylight and a slanted roof, but "a person doesn't stand correctly" in the space, it said on its Twitter feed. It added that the photo might make the place seem larger than it actually is.
RTL reported the story Thursday, saying that three different real estate agencies had managed the apartment despite its small size. It added that the door to the "miniscule" apartment was now permanently closed — and the owner faces a court date later this month.
Le Monde reports that the legal minimum size of an apartment in Paris is 9 square meters. And it must include a shower.