Published on: 28 May 2023
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Canceling an advance notice, is it possible?
You have given notice, but disaster strikes and you need to stay in your rental property... What are your options? Is it possible to cancel your notice to vacate? Studapart explains everything!
Tenant: Is It Possible to Cancel a Notice to Vacate?
To leave a rental property, it is mandatory to respect a notice period: the principle is to notify your landlord with enough advance notice so that everyone has time to organize for this departure. This gives you time to find a new housing solution, and your landlord time to find a new tenant.
The legal duration of the notice period may vary:
- It is 3 months in most cases for unfurnished rentals.
- The notice period is 1 month in tight zones and for furnished properties.
Note: Other specific rules apply to properties located in tight areas, including rent control. To find out if a commune is located in a tight zone, you can check on the Public Service website.
The law is clear: once the notice has been given, it is not possible to go back on it (Article 15 of the law of July 6, 1989). You lose your occupancy rights to the property on the day announced in your rental notice letter. From that date, if you continue to occupy the property, the landlord can begin an eviction procedure.
Good to know: If the tenant can terminate the lease without giving any justification, the rule is not the same for the landlord. If the landlord decides to terminate the tenancy, they must provide a reason for their decision. The only cases allowed under property law are: the sale of the property, taking back the property to live in or to house a close family member, or termination for a "legitimate and serious" reason (such as rent arrears). The landlord must notify their tenant 6 months in advance, or 3 months in the case of a furnished rental.
We provide you with all the information you need to know to properly terminate your lease in our guide.
What are the Conditions to Cancel a Notice to Vacate?
Even though there are no exceptions theoretically to the principle of impossibility to cancel a notice, it is always possible to negotiate with your landlord.
If you haven't found a new place yet or the reasons that led you to move have evolved, it doesn't cost anything to contact your landlord and explain the situation.
However, you will have to align with their decision: the only scenario in which you can cancel your notice to vacate is when the landlord accepts your request.
Note: if your landlord refuses to cancel your notice, you can try to ask them if it is possible to simply extend the notice period to give you more time to turn around. This is an option that may interest them and change their mind if they have not yet found a new tenant.
For all practical purposes, the Public Service provides a model lease termination on their website.
How to Cancel Your Notice to Vacate?
To make your cancellation request to your landlord, you must send them a registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt. In this letter, indicate:
- The date of sending your notice;
- The reasons behind your decision change: they can help your landlord better understand this sudden change in situation;
- The initial notice period date;
- The new desired notice period date (if you request an extension of the notice period), or your desire to continue renting the property.
Has your landlord accepted your notice of cancellation? Great news, but... it is important to know that by accepting, the landlord can:
- Maintain the current lease on the same terms;
- Take advantage of the situation to establish a new lease, or add an amendment to the current lease agreement, with new terms.
The modification of the terms of your initial lease agreement may result in an increase in rent. This rent adjustment is strictly regulated by law: at the time of renewing a lease, the landlord can only increase the rent if it is manifestly undervalued compared to the market (unless the accommodation is classified as F or G, in which case it is prohibited to increase it).
Naturally, you are not obligated to accept the terms of the new lease or amendment, but if you refuse them, you must respect the original departure date of your rental.
Note that the new lease will only apply from the moment the old one has expired, i.e. once the original notice period date has passed.