Qu’est-ce qu’un préavis ? Définition

How long does an advance notice last for a rental?

Leaving your home before the end of the rental lease is a very common situation. Life events can force you to move earlier than expected: a job opportunity in another city, another accommodation closer to your ideal... Of course, you cannot leave a rental accommodation overnight. You must inform the lessor of your wish to leave. And there is always a deadline to meet. So what should you know before giving notice? Studapart tells you everything!


What is a notice? Definition


The request for early departure from a rental accommodation is made by notice. This term refers to the termination letter that you send to the landlord to indicate that you are leaving the accommodation. The notice period is the time between receipt of the notice by the lessor and the effective date of departure. This period is generally 3 months, but can be reduced to 1 month. The term leave is also used to designate the desire to leave one's home. When a tenant "gives notice", it means giving notice to the landlord.

When should the notice be sent?


The notice must be sent by registered mail with acknowledgment of receipt. Nothing prevents you from making a phone call to your rental company beforehand, or sending them an email, but you must absolutely send them a registered letter. Under the law, the date of receipt of the letter will prevail (the famous postmark).

How to write the notice?


You can take inspiration from the many notice models available on the internet. You must indicate the date on which you intend to leave the accommodation and possibly the reason for your departure if you request a period of 1 month.


Your letter of termination can also be delivered by hand. The owner will give you a receipt (a signed paper on which he certifies, specifying the date and time, having received your notice). In the event of particularly strained relations with the owner, and if your means allow it, you can also signify your departure by bailiff.

What happens following the notice?


When the notice has been received by the landlord, you still have 3 months of occupancy of the accommodation (or 1 month in certain cases mentioned below). The deadline must be counted day by day. If you sent your notice on January 12, the deadline is April 12, neither before nor after. If you sent it on the 31st, the last day of the month in question is taken into account.


During the 3 months of occupation, you will still have to pay the rents, charges if applicable, maintain the accommodation and meet all your commitments to the owner. He may also ask you to withdraw any changes you have made to the accommodation. On the day of departure, you will carry out an inventory. The landlord will be required to return the security deposit (the amount that is often, and wrongly, called the deposit).

What is the timeframe for a notice?


As we have said, the notice period is 3 months, that is to say that the owner must have taken note of your decision 3 months before the date of your departure. As a law is complete only with its exceptions, it provides for several cases where the deadline can be reduced to 1 month:


  • If the housing is located in a tight zone, that is to say in a district or a city where demand is greater than supply, and where in theory housing quickly finds buyers. The government site lets you know very quickly if your home is in a tight zone.
  • If the accommodation is a furnished apartment. Furnished rental accommodation is statistically faster to re-let.
  • If the tenant joins a HLM housing (Habitation à Loyer Modéré). The state naturally favors those eligible for low cost rentals.
  • If the tenant has found a job after a period of unemployment.
  • If the tenant is transferred by his employer (regardless of the distance between the two positions).
  • If the tenant has lost his job: dismissal, end of contract, contractual termination ... This loss of employment must not be his fault. A resignation, for example, is not among the criteria. A retirement either.
  • If the tenant's health requires a quick move. The lessor has the option of requiring a medical certificate before agreeing to the 1 month deadline.
  • If the tenant is a beneficiary of financial assistance such as the RSA (active solidarity income) or the AAH (allowance for disabled adults).


If you do not fit into the categories listed, it is of course always possible to request the reduction of the notice period from the owner. And he has the right to accept it. Things are often simpler when you have good relationships with your interlocutors.

Notice period: legal texts


From a legal point of view, the notice periods are governed by certain reference laws:


  • The 1948 law which concerns dwellings built before September 1, 1948 and occupied before 1986, located in certain municipalities in France, and which allows the benefit of low rents and a specific lease. This post-war provision was the first to give owners of new homes the freedom to set the amount of rent.
  • The ALUR law (access to housing and renovated town planning) of March 24, 2014, simplified by the Macron law of 2015 (when our president was Minister of the Economy). One of the goals of this law, the most recent in terms of real estate, was to slow the surge in rents and give tenants a little flexibility.

Is it possible to leave an accommodation without notice?


There are certain cases in which you are allowed to leave the accommodation without notice. These are for extreme reasons, in particular health. If the habitat turns out to be unsanitary, if it represents a risk to health, if the presence of lead or asbestos is discovered, if the lessor/owner neglects some work and fittings, you are entitled to vacate the accommodation before the term of the lease without legal notice.


You must then take care to alert the landlord several times to the condition of their home and the need to restore it. If the owner has not responded to your requests, you can send him formal notice by registered mail with acknowledgment of receipt. See the models of formal notice to carry out the necessary work in housing on the internet.


This formal notice ultimately serves as a notice. The tenant can leave the accommodation without delay if the owner has still not responded and made the necessary arrangements. When leaving the premises, the tenant will take care to keep as many documents as possible attesting to the unsanitary condition of the accommodation and / or the owner's negligence: bailiff's report, copy of letters sent to the owner, acknowledgments of receipt, medical certificates for pathologies resulting from unsanitary housing, photographs, etc.


The tenant is free to leave as soon as he has handed over the keys to the owner and paid the pro rata of the last rent. The calculation is done as follows: the amount of the monthly rent is multiplied by the number of the day on which the accommodation is vacated, then divided by the number of full days of the month (31, 30, 28 or even 29). The tenant remains entitled to claim the security deposit. The owner may also require an inventory.


To keep in mind
The legal deadline for obtaining the notice of the lessor owner of the rental apartment you occupy is 3 months. It can be defined on the rental agreement. You can reduce this period to 1 month under certain specific conditions: furnished rental accommodation or in a tight area, loss of employment or on the contrary hiring after a period of unemployment, change of position requiring a transfer, state of health, move to HLM or tenant subject to financial aid (RSA or AAH). You can also obtain this 1-month period by mutual agreement with the lessor. When leaving the accommodation, an inventory must be made and the security deposit returned to the tenant.

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