a long tradition
A century-old association
Our International Union was created in Paris in 1923 under the name “Union Internationale de la Propriété Foncière Batie (UIPFB)” to defend the interests of private property owners just after the First World War, at a time when Europe’s recovery was still fragile and property rights an unsecure concept, easily hard-hit by territorial claims and authoritarian regimes and national trends to introduce strict rent control rules.
UIPFB was an initiative of Professor Jean Larmeroux, a strong promoter of international federalism, who was back then the President of the French Union Nationale de la Propriété Fonciere Batie today renamed Union Nationale de la Propriété Immobilière (UNPI) and a well-known French lawyer and political scientist. He became the first President of the International Union and stayed in office until 1939.
The Second World War interrupted the activities of UIPFB but in 1948 the association was re-introduced. Thirty years later, the Union was renamed “Union Internationale de la Propriété Immobilière” – UIPI.
The fall of the communist regimes in Central and Eastern Europe, and shortly after in the Balkans, brought in and back to UIPI associations of property owners from these countries, fighting for the restitution of their confiscated properties. UIPI supported their action, keeping the matter politically open until today.
Right from its creation, UIPFB united almost all the then existing national associations of property owners in Europe, making the association a pioneer among international not-for-profit associations and the only association defending the rights of property owners worldwide for almost a century.
The primary objective of UIPI, the promotion and defence of property rights as a vital and internationally recognised human right, remains UIPI maxim and the core of its identity. But with the evolution of the European political landscape, the members of UIPI realised the need to strengthen their voice at the European level. Despite the fact that housing is not an EU competence, EU policies are not housing neutral and many of them impact on the interests of home-owners and landlords in Europe.
Therefore, in 2007, UIPI official seat was transferred to Brussels. Shortly after, in 2009, UIPI professionalised its interest representation activities toward the EU, by creating its European Affairs office (Brussels Secretariat).