Termination letter: how to write it and when to send it

Leaving your apartment always comes with its share of questions. What is my notice period? When should I send my lease termination letter? And, by the way, how do you write it? Studapart gives you the keys to know everything about the notice letter.


Photos gratuites de à l'intérieur, à la maison, écriteTermination letter: how to write it and when to send it


That's it, your Erasmus exchange ended, you got your first job at the other end of France, or you finished your studies? So you'll have to move. And moving means... administrative procedures, including writing and sending your lease termination letter, a real passport to be able to leave your accomodation. Are you already sweating at the thought of all this? Don't stress! Sit down, make yourself a cup of tea and we will guide you through all the steps involved in writing and sending your termination letter.


What is the notice period to terminate a rental lease? 


As a tenant, you do not need any particular justification to terminate your rental contract. You can terminate your lease at any time... as long as you respect the notice period, of course.


This period, from one to three months depending on your situation, allows your landlord to organize your departure and to prepare the arrival of a new tenant. It is defined by the law of July 6, 1989.


For an empty rental, this period is three months. For furnished accommodation or accommodation located in a tense area (i.e. where demand is much higher than supply) this period is reduced to one month. Other situations justify a reduction of the notice period. We detail them to you here.


Once you have identified the duration of your notice period and the date on which you wish to terminate your contract, several possibilities are available to you to notify the lessor. On the one hand, you can hand over your termination letter by hand, remembering to ask for a receipt. You can also proceed by bailiff's deed. Finally, and this is the most common way, you can send him a registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt. It is this option that we will dissect - and demystify - together.


Everything you need to know about the lease cancellation letter


Is it mandatory to send a letter of termination of lease?

You are not obliged to write a letter of termination if you hand-deliver a letter to your landlord against a receipt, or proceed by bailiff's deed. However, if you are wondering whether it would be better to terminate your lease amicably, the answer is no. Even if you are on good terms with your landlord, it costs nothing to do things the right way (well, a few euros for sending your letter). This way, you will be protected in case of disagreement, and so will your landlord.


Where and how to send the letter ?

You can go to la Poste to send your letter, or use their online registered letter service by clicking on this link. With this option, no need to print! You can write, import your text or follow a template, then schedule your mailing up to 90 days in advance. Practical, isn't it?


Good to know
The registered letter is delivered by hand by the letter carrier against signature and identity verification. In this way, the tenant has proof that he has received his mail. If the tenant is absent, he or she can pick it up at the post office for 15 days.


On what date does the notice period take effect?

If you do not specify a date for leaving the accomodation in your letter, the notice period will take effect on the date you receive the letter. You can also choose another exit date by specifying it in your letter. Be careful, however: you must respect the minimum notice period to break the contract.


How to write a lease termination letter ?


The essential elements of a letter

Well, now that you know the basics of the notice period and how a letter of notice works, let's go for the ultimate step: writing!


First of all, let's go over the basics of writing a letter: there are some essential elements that must be included in all letters, including the one to terminate your lease:


  • Your contact information: last name, first name, address, email and phone number so that the recipient can reach you. This section is usually in the left corner of the sheet.
  • The recipient's contact information: the renter, in your case. Place this information on the left, just below your contact information.
  • Your location and date: fill in after skipping a line and re-aligning the text on the left.
  • A subject: this is essential so that the person who will receive your mail understands at a glance what it is about. In your case, it will be "notice of departure". Write it after skipping another line.
  • The body of the text: this is where you will develop the subject of your letter. And of course, don't forget to include a greeting at the beginning and end!
  • Your name and signature, the final point of your letter.

The particularities of the lease cancellation letter for tenants

Let's now come to the specific content of a notice letter for a tenant. Several mandatory elements must be included:


  • Your intention to leave the accommodation, the date of the beginning of the lease and the address.
  • Your notice period and its nature: three months because you rent unfurnished accommodation, one month because you live in a tense area... 
  • A reference to the law of July 6, 1989, which governs relations between landlords and tenants and notice periods.
  • Possibly: the date on which you wish to leave the accommodation. Otherwise, the notice period will begin when you receive the letter.

As a final touch, we recommend that you propose a date to schedule an appointment for the inventory of fixtures and the handover of the keys. It's always better for renters to have as much information as possible so that they can make the best arrangements!


And if you prefer, you can simply copy a model of termination letter available on Studapart by clicking here.


End of rental: what are the last steps?


It's almost time to leave your accommodation! Before the final goodbye and the termination of the rental contract, some steps are necessary. We are of course referring to the inventory of fixtures, whose role is to note any differences between the state of the accommodation at the beginning and at the end.


Two specific cases:

  • The damages are inexistent or minimal: breathe, you will be able to recover your entire security deposit. According to the law, your landlord has one month to return it to you. We advise you to try to get it back when you get the keys, to avoid forgetting.
  • Damages are noted: the owner will be able to keep a sum proportional to the damages on your deposit. In this case, the law provides for a 2-month period of restitution.

But first, you must plan this inventory of fixtures. For this, do not hesitate to contact your landlord as soon as possible to discuss a date that suits you both. Tip: don't wait until the big day to declare any damage to the dwelling, and do some spring cleaning. In case of disagreement, these small gestures will allow you to make a good impression and to give confidence to your landlord.


Still have questions about the notice letter and the aftermath? Don't hesitate to call our rental experts. They are available 6 days a week and will be able to give you good advice on how to write and send your lease termination letter. And all in several languages!

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