End of a Lease: How to Give Leave to a Tenant?

bail de location

Rules relating to the termination of a lease differ according to the status of the person wishing to terminate the contract and the nature of the agreement. In an indefinite-term lease, the tenant has the right to leave respecting a notice of 2 or 3 months, according to the contractual provisions. On the owner’s side, only a serious reason can justify an early termination. Where applicable, strict requirements regarding the form of the request and the notice period will have to be respected.

In Which Cases Can the Lessor Terminate the Contract?

In case of fault on the tenant’s side, the landlord can terminate the lease without notice: this process is called a cancellation (“résolution”) of the lease – not a termination. It necessarily implies a judicial procedure: if the judge deems that there was a fault, he can terminate the contract. The absence of notice is not always effective: the judge can enforce one, whose duration he determines himself.

Besides, even dealing with an honest tenant, resorting to a termination for serious and legitimate reasons is always a possible option. For example, this legal recourse is used when important works are required and imply that no one can live safely in the place.

Eventually, lease termination for personal need is legal, though, in case of an indefinite-term lease, it is subject to a 6 month’s notice. This is the reason to invoke if you wish to occupy your property yourself or accommodate a relative.

Lease termination for personal need is legal, though, in case of an indefinite-term lease, it is subject to a 6 months notice. 

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How to Terminate a Lease

Whatever the reason for which you wish to put an end to a rental lease, the procedure to follow remains the same, and implies to be highly meticulous. To begin with, sending a simple email or calling the tenant is not sufficient: the contact should be made through a written notice of termination. And it will obligatorily be sent by registered mail with acknowledgement of receipt. In such letter, you need to clearly explain the reasons for your decision. If necessary, you can attach the documentation showing your acting in good faith.

Finally, you must not forget to quote the text of paragraph 3 of article 12 of the law of 21 September 2006, stating that a lease may be terminated for personal reasons. If you invoke this ground without stipulating the corresponding law, your letter may become void, delaying the proceedings.

When informed of your decision, the occupant may apply to the justice of the peace to obtain an extension of notice. All parties will then be summoned to the hearing, knowing that the extension never exceeds the original expiry time by more than one year. Once the deadline is reached, if the tenant does not respect the rule and continues to occupy the property, the judge is entitled to request a forced expulsion.

The occupant may apply to the justice of the peace to obtain an extension of notice. 

Warning: even if the termination of the lease is carried out in a hasty way and even if it results from a common agreement, never forget to make an exit inventory of the place. Eventually, you should neither forget to refund the deposit to your tenant on due time.


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