The complainant approached the Ombudsman and requested help in extending the lease agreement for official lodgings owned by the Ministry of Defence. The Ombudsman intervened with the Ministry and they responded positively. Not only did they recognise the applicant’s distress in being a single parent with health issues, but they also signed a lease agreement with him for an indeterminate period of time. The Ombudsman welcomed the decision of the Ministry and deemed his intervention as successful.
The Human Rights Ombudsman of the Republic of Slovenia (Ombudsman) was approached by a former member of the Slovenian Armed Forces, now a retired tenant in official lodgings owned by the Ministry of Defence (MORS). He informed us about his many health problems and told us that he has a low income that prevents him from renting an apartment on the market, and at the same time, as a single parent, he also has to take care of his 14-year-old daughter. He stated that the lodgings are their only home.
At the beginning of the previous year, the MORS Housing Commission informed the applicant that it would not extend the lease for the official lodgings indefinitely, as at that time he did not (yet) meet the prescribed period of prior lease (5 years), but extended the deadline for returning the apartment by one year. This put him in further distress, as he and his daughter were under the threat of homelessness, given that even the competent social services, according to his inquiry, did not have available free capacities.
In his distress, the applicant repeatedly contacted the Ministry of Defence in writing and in person, and in October last year he also submitted a new application to the MORS Housing Commission, however, he did not inform the Ombudsman of its eventual decision.
Therefore, the Ombudsman contacted MORS for additional clarifications and inquired whether it was aware of the applicant's situation and whether it had already responded to his letters. In the event that it had not yet responded, the Ombudsman called on the Ministry to do so without delay and forward the responses to him as well. Namely, the Ombudsman has understood all letters from the applicant addressed to the Housing Commission and also to other addressees of MORS as his applications for the extension of the lease for an indeterminate period of time. In this regard, he also requested information on whether the MORS Housing Commission had already decided on his applications or if it had not yet done so, to decide without delay. At the same time, we also asked for information on what other possibilities to help the applicant in his distress is MORS aware of, particularly in the event of a possible negative decision of the MORS Housing Commission.
In its response, MORS first assured the Ombudsman that it would examine the applicant's request for the extension of the lease for the lodgings in question, taking into account his extremely difficult life situation that it was informed of and that it would, within the framework of legal possibilities, find a possible solution that could help regulate the applicant's social distress. We were subsequently informed that it had signed a lease agreement with the applicant at the end of June this year for official lodgings, on the basis of which his lease of official lodgings was extended for an indeterminate period of time.
The Ombudsman welcomed the decision of the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Slovenia and deemed his intervention as successful. 20.1-1/2023