In France, navigating the intricacies of lease termination, or “résiliation de bail,” can be a bit complex. This process requires a thorough understanding of rental contracts, whether for furnished or unfurnished accommodations. The rules and notice periods for terminating a lease vary based on the type of rental, making it imperative for tenants to be well-informed and proactive. 

Our comprehensive guide will walk you through important things to know about the résiliation de bail, as well as how to write a lease termination letter (lettre de résiliation de bail). 


Résiliation de bail notice period

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When entering into a rental agreement in France, it is essential for tenants to understand the specific notice periods required for terminating their lease. These notice periods can vary significantly depending on whether the rental is furnished or unfurnished. Being aware of these differences and the legal requirements is crucial for tenants to ensure compliance and avoid potential disputes.

Furnished rentals

Furnished housing rentals typically have shorter notice periods compared to their unfurnished counterparts. Under French Law No. 89-462 of July 6, 1989, Article 15, tenants are permitted to terminate their lease with a one-month notice period.

Unfurnished rentals

In contrast, unfurnished housing generally requires a longer notice period. Tenants are expected to provide a minimum of three months’ notice prior to lease termination. This period can be subject to variation based on local legislation, so it is important to conduct research on the housing and rental policies in your specific area. 

There are certain special circumstances that may make you eligible to terminate an unfurnished lease with only one month’s notice. These special cases often include job relocation, unemployment, or health issues supported by a medical certificate. These special terms and conditions are crucial elements to carefully examine and advocate for when signing any lease agreement.


Can I terminate a rental lease early?

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There are certain exceptions that allow tenants to terminate their rental lease early. These include:

  • Breach of Contract: Tenants may be entitled to leave without notice if the landlord fails to fulfill contractual obligations, such as necessary repairs.
  • Non-Compliance with Delivery Obligation: If the housing does not align with the rental contract’s terms, tenants can terminate the lease without notice. This constitutes the delay, partial delivery or complete failure to deliver the contracted goods or services. 
  • Danger to Safety: In cases of immediate or impending danger to the tenant’s safety, immediate departure without notice is permissible.

However, leaving a property without notice can result in legal ramifications, especially if the departure is unjustified or non-compliant with contractual obligations. Tenants may be liable for rent and charges until the end of the notice period and could face additional compensation claims from the landlord.


Résiliation de bail: official departure date

The official date when your tenancy ends is set based on when your landlord gets your notice to terminate the lease. This received date is essential for figuring out how long the notice period is. For instance, if your lease requires you to give a one-month notice before leaving, this one-month countdown starts from the day your landlord receives your termination letter, not when you send it.


How to write a lettre de résiliation de bail 

Résiliation de bail in France - everything you need to know

To terminate a lease, tenants need to write a formal notice letter. This letter should include essential details such as contact information, the housing address, desired departure date, and the notice period. It is advised to send this letter via a formal mail service, and to keep a receipt from the postal service to document your communication trail. 

To effectively write a termination letter, consider the following.

  • Clarity and Respect: Ensure the letter is clear, concise, and respectful throughout.
  • Initial Statement: Begin with a direct statement of termination, indicating your decision to terminate the lease. 
  • Reasons for Termination: Clearly articulate the reasons for termination, helping the landlord understand the basis of the decision.
  • Details of Termination: Specify the termination date, outline final pay details and list any furnishings to be returned. Provide information on the continuation of contact, if relevant.
  • Tone of the Letter: Maintain a respectful tone, allowing space for them to respond or inquire further.
  • Purpose of the Letter: The letter should aim to communicate essential information and aid in preserving a professional termination process.

This format ensures that the termination letter is both informative and considerate, addressing all necessary aspects in a structured manner.

Next steps after giving your notice

After sending your lease termination letter, proceed with the following: 

  • Respect the deadlines set in the rental contract.
  • Keep a copy of your notice letter, and proof of when you sent it.
  • Terminate any contracts or subscriptions related to the rental.
  • Conduct a walkthrough with the landlord or agent.
  • Await the refund of the security deposit. According to Law No. 89-462 of July 6, 1989, Article 22, security deposits should be returned 1-2 months after key handover.


Lease Terminations at Urban Campus

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At Urban Campus, we prioritize tenant convenience and flexibility, understanding that life’s circumstances can change rapidly.

Our lease termination policies are designed with this in mind, offering a blend of stability and adaptability to suit various needs. While conditions may differ depending on the housing type and other specific factors, we generally ask for a 30-day notice period. 

Moreover, we recognize that every tenant’s situation is unique. That’s why we encourage direct communication for personalized advice or information. By reaching out to Urban Campus, tenants can receive tailored guidance that aligns with their individual circumstances. This level of care and attention to detail reflects our commitment to not just being a housing provider, but a supportive community that values and adapts to the dynamic lifestyles of our colivers.


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  • Cover Photo: Canva Free Media License

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Ren Bishop


Ren is our Social Media and Content Manager