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Terminating a lease by the tenant

As a tenant, it's important that you're well informed about your rights and obligations regarding rental management.

If you're in a housing contract and you wish to terminate your lease, there is a process to follow depending on the type of housing and the geographical area, while taking into account certain particular circumstances.

The termination of the lease by the tenant

Terminating a lease by the tenant is entirely possible. It is sufficient to adhere to a specific notice period.

The notice period for an unfurnished rental

If the rented accommodation is unfurnished, you can terminate the lease by giving a notice period of 3 months. This period is provided to prevent the landlord from being left with a vacant property for an extended period, resulting in a loss of income.

However, there are exceptions that allow termination of the lease with only one month's notice. Other situations allow you to leave your accommodation without notice. These two special cases will be detailed below.

The Alur law guarantees a reduced notice period for social housing to one month with or without furniture. It is only valid in tight areas, such as large cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants.

The notice period for furnished accommodation

For the rental of furnished accommodation, the notice period is generally 1 month.

Early termination of a lease of less than 3 years by the tenant

Early termination of a lease is defined as the termination of a contract before the expiration of a 36-month period. Indeed, the tenant is not obliged to provide proof to leave the accommodation before three years of rental.

In this case, the tenant will have to pay compensation to the landlord. This compensation varies depending on the departure date. Thus, the compensation is equal to three months' rent for a move at the end of the first year, two months' rent for the second year, and one month for the third.

However, there is compensation for this penalty if the tenant's termination of the lease is justified by certain reasons, such as obtaining a first job, a transfer, job loss, but also if the tenant receives RSA or AAH benefits.

Tenants of social housing are also exempt, as are those whose move is imposed by their health condition. In the latter case, a medical certificate must be provided to attest to the necessity of the move.

These situations also allow a reduction in the notice period, which is reduced from 3 months to only 1 month.

On the other hand, the early termination of a lease by the landlord requires a notice period of 6 months, with compensation to be paid to the tenant in return. In addition to this, a valid reason must be provided to terminate the lease contract.

This last condition does not apply in the case of a short-term lease. However, both parties must include or exclude this clause at the time of drafting the contract.

It is not always easy to find furnished accommodation. Fortunately, Colonies is here to make your life easier. You will easily find the house you need, especially if you want to opt for coliving.

Termination of the lease without notice

Here are two cases of termination of the lease without notice:

Departure without informing the landlord

We talk about leaving without informing the landlord when the tenant or tenants abandon the accommodation without informing the landlord. In this case, it is up to the landlord to inform a bailiff so that he can record the vacancy of the premises.

Then, he must seize the judge to obtain a termination of the lease and possible compensation. As you will have understood, the tenant is at fault until proven otherwise.

Departure due to serious breach

The second situation in which the lease can be terminated without notice is when the landlord shows a serious breach of his obligations. For example, if the property is in an unsanitary condition and does not allow for residence.

The occupant must have informed the landlord of the damage observed and then take the necessary steps to push him to do the work.

The situations that justify leaving without notifying the landlord are a long-term water supply cut, infiltrations that cause humidity that can be harmful to occupants, dangerous electrical installation, etc.

However, it must not be forgotten that the tenant must still pay the rental charges and the rent until the day of final departure from the accommodation.

Models of termination letters of a lease

The termination letter of a lease by the tenant is almost similar in the case of a notice of 1 or 3 months. There are standard models on which it is sufficient to fill in personal information starting with your full name, city, address with postal code, and the rest of your contact details.

The recipient and especially the date of issue of the letter must be specified.

In the case of a letter of termination of a lease before term, a justification is required to avoid penalties. This is valid in the case of an unfurnished accommodation outside of tight areas.

The deadline is uniformly 1 month, regardless of the type of property, with or without justification. It is the Alur law passed in 2013 that protects tenants in areas where rent is quite expensive.

The termination letter of a lease with a 3-month notice only cites the texts that allow an occupant to freely leave the rented property, even without a valid reason, as long as the contract is more than 3 years old.

The occupant has three methods of sending his letter. The first is sending by post with mandatory acknowledgment of receipt. The second method of sending is through a bailiff who will transmit the message.

Finally, handing over against signature is the most practical method of sending a termination letter of a lease by the tenant. It should be noted that the notice period starts from the day the landlord receives the request.

The obligations and rules to be followed by the tenant before leaving the accommodation

The tenant must inform the landlord of his desire to leave except for the exceptions mentioned above. In his letter, he must notify the notice period of the accommodation to one month, according to the new Alur law in tight areas or in the case of furnished housing.

In other situations, a notice of 3 months is required.

The tenant must pay his charges and his rent until his departure. The last month, he only pays for the days spent in the apartment. If the landlord finds a new occupant, the charges end when he moves in.

The tenant must carry out an inventory with the landlord. During this stage, the landlord looks for any damage caused by the occupant that would require him to pay compensation.

If he refuses, the rental guarantee may not be returned to him, and a complaint may be filed with an administrative or police officer.

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