Termination of the rental lease: what you need to know

Are you a tenant and have found the internship of your dreams, are you finishing your Erasmus exchange or are you heading to new professional horizons? So many projects that involve ending your rental contract. Termination conditions, procedure to follow ... To approach the termination of your lease with peace of mind, Studapart accompanies you step by step. Follow the guide !



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Termination of the rental lease: what you need to know


Tenant: under what conditions can I terminate my lease?


As a tenant, you don't have to wait for the end of your contract. You can terminate your rental contract at any time, without specific justification. We still recommend that you plan your release date in advance and write a notice ... on time! This document is used to notify your landlord of your departure. The solution to enable him to find a new tenant, to plan work in his apartment... In short, to get organized. Article 12 of the law of July 6, 1989 regulates the notice period. For unfurnished accommodation, it is set at 3 months. But several situations allow you to benefit from a reduction in notice to 1 month:


  • Living in a "tight zone", that is, an urban area where there is an imbalance between housing supply and demand. As a result, prices and rents are higher than elsewhere, and the notice period is reduced to provide more flexibility to lessors and tenants. For example, Paris, Bordeaux, Lille or even Nantes are tense areas.
  • Live in a furnished apartment.
  • Certain professional situations such as obtaining your first job, a transfer, a job loss or a new position following a job loss.
  • Health problems justifying your move, certified by a doctor.
  • Benefit from the Active Solidarity Income (RSA) or be a disabled adult benefit recipient.
  • Benefit from APL.


Under what conditions can your landlord terminate your lease?


For landlords, the conditions for terminating a lease are stricter. The only reason why the lessor can terminate the rental agreement before its term is in the event of “tenant fault”. For example, if the tenant does not pay the rent or the charges. Otherwise, it is possible for him to give his tenant leave at the end of the rental period, but he must justify it by one of the following reasons:


“Leave to live”


This reason allows the landlord to terminate the rental lease if he wishes to move into his dwelling. He can also provide this option to his relatives, such as his parents, children or spouse.


“Leave to sell”


Your landlord can also terminate the contract if they want to sell their apartment. In this case, you have a "right of first refusal", that is to say an advantage if you wish to buy back the accommodation. Concretely, this means that your landlord will have to explicitly tell you the amount and the conditions of sale. You then have 2 months to accept or not his offer.


“The legitimate and serious reason”


The owner-lessor can also terminate the rental lease in the event of a “legitimate and serious reason” justifying the departure of the tenant. Among these reasons, we find:


  • Unpaid rent or regular delays in payment.
  • A “non-peaceful use of the property”, that is to say repeated noise nuisance that annoys neighbors.
  • The refusal to take out tenant insurance.
  • An undeclared sublet of the accommodation.
  • Carrying out major work without permission from the owner.


hese reasons are not specified by the law of July 6, 1989. The final decision rests with the magistrate. If the accommodation is an Anah or APL agreement, a “legitimate and serious reason” is the only condition that your landlord can invoke to terminate the rental agreement.


To terminate the lease, the owner will have to give his notice to warn you. The notice period is 6 months for an empty rental and 3 months for a furnished rental.


Did you know?
If your landlord terminates the lease, you can vacate the premises at any time without giving notice. You will only have to pay the rent for the period that you have lived in the premises.


How to terminate your rental lease?


Terminate the rental lease for the tenant


You have planned your departure and set your exit date. Now is the time to take care of the paperwork! Don't panic, Studapart is here to support you. To give notice, it is not recommended to resort only to amicable (even if a discussion with the owner on the end date of the lease and the inventory of fixtures is always a plus). A simple oral exchange, an SMS or an email cannot serve as proof that your landlord has taken note of your departure.


Concretely, three options are available to you:

  • Write a registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt. This is the most common and the easiest option.
  • Hand delivery of the notice letter without forgetting to ask for a receipt.
  • Terminate his lease by act of bailiff. This solution has a higher cost than the letter.


Tenant: how to write a letter of notice?
As in a classic letter, we recommend that you include your contact details and those of your landlord, a subject (“notice of departure”), a date and a signature. In the body of the text, it is necessary to mention your date of departure, to indicate whether you benefit from a reduction in notice, and to refer to article 12 of the law of July 6, 1989.


If you have any doubts, the Studapart resource center is there to help you. There you will find sample letters, and plenty of other tips. Enough to save you time!


Terminate your rental lease for the owner


For owners, it's the same procedure! To give notice, he must send you a registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt, hand you a letter with receipt or proceed by bailiff.


What should an owner's termination letter contain
The content of the letter varies depending on the reason for terminating the lease. If it is a "leave to sell", the owner must enter the price, but also the first five paragraphs of article 15 of the law of July 6, 1989 which indicate the conditions of sale. A termination letter for a "leave to live" must mention the name and address of the beneficiary of the takeover, as well as the family relationship if it is a relative. Another document to be attached since 2018: an information notice relating to the lessor's obligations and the tenant's legal remedies and compensation. As this is a "legitimate and serious reason" leave, landlords are asked to justify it by letter to their tenant. The reason is then checked by the magistrate.


What to do in the event of a dispute over the termination of the lease?


Are you worried about a dispute over the termination of the lease? We recommend that you attempt to resolve this issue amicably. At Studapart, we protect our tenants as well as our lessors. If you are no longer able to communicate or in the event of a dispute, Studapart can act as intermediaries. Thanks to the 36,000 homeowners who trust us, we have acquired the expertise necessary to solve this kind of problem. So don't hesitate, our multilingual experts are there to help you 6 days a week!

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