Termination of Lease: What Changes in Areas of High Demand?

If you are a tenant of your accommodation, you are entitled to request termination of your lease at any time and without justification when you wish to leave. You must properly request your leave and submit it to your landlord, via certified mail, bailiff or hand delivery. From the moment you request termination of the lease agreement, you are obliged to observe a notice period of 1 to 3 months (depending on the situation of your accommodation: furnished / unfurnished) from the date of receipt by your landlord. That is to say that you must pay 1 to 3 months' rent and charges before being able to return your accommodation, you can of course continue living there during this time. This period varies depending on the situation of your accommodation: furnished or unfurnished. For a furnished apartment, the notice period will last 1 month, even if you have a 9-month lease. For an unfurnished property, it will be 3 months.


These timescales are adjusted for housings located in an area of high demand; that is to say, in communes where the demand is higher than the supply of housing, high rents and where it is therefore more difficult to find accommodation than elsewhere. To make things easier, the State has put in place certain rules in these areas of high demand with the Alur law. The notice period for an unfurnished rental is thus reduced to 1 month in an area of high demand, instead of 3 months in a normal zone, and rents are capped by a price range that owners must respect when putting their accommodation on the rental market.


In an area of high demand or not, you retain the freedom to terminate your lease at any time and without justification. Studapart goes through it with you.

What is an area of high demand?


It is said that an area of high demand exists when the housing supply in a given area is lower than the demand. In these areas, rent prices tend to be high, which prevents part of the population from finding housing in some towns due to lack of means. To remedy this shortage, the State has relaxed the regulations on unfurnished rentals with the Alur law, allowing people to find housing more easily and quickly. This relaxation is mainly applied to the duration of notice periods, which are reduced from three months to one month, but also to rental prices which are capped.


For example, for an unfurnished rental, the law requires you to observe a three-month notice period (outside of an area of high demand) before returning the housing, during which time you are obliged to pay your rent. This period is reduced to one month in an area of high demand.


In terms of rents, a price range is defined to frame them and must be respected by landlords who wish to rent their housing. The list of high-demand areas is public and updated each year.


Several French municipalities are classified as high-demand areas, in 2023 this is the case of:


Ajaccio, Annecy, Arles, Bastia, Bayonne, Beauvais, Bordeaux, Draguignan, Fréjus, Genève-Annemasse, Grenoble, La Rochelle, La Teste de Buch-Arcachon, Lille, Lyon, Marseille–Aix-en-Provence, Menton-Monaco, Meaux, Montpellier, Nantes, Nice, Paris, Saint-Nazaire, Sète, Strasbourg, Thonon-les-Bains, Toulon, Toulouse.


If you are looking for housing in these areas, we recommend that you plan ahead and prepare a complete application. If you are leaving an unfurnished accommodation located in any of these municipalities, the Alur Law applies and your notice period is reduced to 1 month instead of 3.


How to Terminate My Lease in a High Demand Area?


To terminate your lease in a high demand area, the same rules apply as in other areas.


You have 3 options for giving notice:

  • Send a registered letter in good standing to your landlord and/or the agency managing your lease.
  • Consult with a bailiff to take care of the necessary steps
  • Hand deliver the termination notice for acknowledgement of receipt


Upon receiving this notification, you will enter the pre-notice period: a period of time that must be respected for you to leave the premises and during which you must continue to pay your rent and fees. Normally, this period is between 1 and 3 months depending on the type of lease (furnished or unfurnished), and it's shortened to 1 month in all types of leases in high demand areas in order to address the shortage of housing and allow for easier and faster relocation for both tenants and landlords. You can choose to stay in the premises during this time or not, but you are still required to pay rent until the end of the lease term and return the keys.


Upon returning the keys, you and your landlord must carry out an inventory of fixtures to help recover the deposit you gave when entering the premises, unless there is any damage to the accommodation.

Your landlord or the agency can also ask you to leave the leased premises, but only under certain conditions such as selling, taking back the premises to live in or for a legitimate and serious reason such as repeated payment delays, nuisance, etc. and at the latest before the end of the lease term. Again there will be a pre-notice period to respect.


What Information Should be Included in the Termination of Lease Letter for an Area of High Demand?


Your request for termination must be made in a letter addressed to your landlord or the managing agency. It must be written correctly, contain the mandatory statements and be sent by registered mail, delivered by a bailiff or in person against receipt or signature.


Here is a model of termination letter in french to send to your landlord or agency to terminate your lease:


[Full name of the tenant]
[Postcode, City]
[Email address]

[Full name of the landlord]
[Postcode, City]


Objet : Congé – résiliation du bail


Madame, Monsieur,


Nous avons signé le contrat de location [vide/meublée] le [date], pour un logement situé à [adresse]. Je vous donne par la présente mon congé pour le [date de résiliation du bail].


Le logement étant situé en zone tendue, le délai de préavis est donc réduit à un mois à compter la réception de cette lettre recommandée. Vous trouverez ci-joint la copie du décret n° 2013-392 du 10 mai 2013 listant les communes en zone tendue.


Pour l’état des lieux de sortie et la remise des clés, je propose de fixer la date suivante : [date à laquelle le locataire souhaite quitter définitivement les lieux].


Je vous prie d’agréer, Madame, Monsieur, mes salutations distinguées.




Remember to modify this letter by adding your personal information. You can print it or write it by hand. Note that the start date of the notice period corresponds to the date of receipt by its recipient and not the date indicated at the top of the letter.



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