The certified consumer association “UFC- Que Choisir” launched yesterday, on the effective date of the Hamon Law, the first action de groupe in France against the French real property manager Foncia.

UFC-Que Choisir through a press release, indicated this morning that it served on Foncia a summons to appear before the Tribunal de Grande Instance of Nanterre to obtain on behalf of 318,000 tenants the refund of fees allegedly unlawfully invoiced to them by Foncia for its notice payment service (e.g., mailing costs for rent receipts).  UFC-Que Choisir claims 44 millions euros in estimated damages.

To support its action de groupe, the consumer association apparently based its claim on a decision rendered by the 1st Civil Chamber of the Tribunal de Grande Instance of Paris in December 2013.  UFC-Que Choisir had indeed previously brought against Foncia a lawsuit requesting it to stop various illicit commercial practices.  The Court found in particular that the practice of charging tenants with rent receipt mailing fees was illegal.