Furnished rentals: how to end a contract

There are two types of contract used for furnished rentals.

A fixed-term contract

The Civil Code states that in the case of fixed-term contracts it is not necessary to give notice at the end of the contract period. An automatic renewal of the contract is still possible. If at the end of the contract term the tenant has permission to continue to occupy the property, the contract will automatically be renewed. The renewed contract will have the same conditions as the former, notably the cost. However, the contract then becomes an open-ended contract that will only end when notice is given.

A contract for a furnished rental can anticipate an early termination of the contract if one or both of the parties involved so wish. If nothing is anticipated then the contract can only end upon mutual agreement. When the contract has not been formed with an early termination anticipated, if your tenant gives early notice they are required to pay for the full term as contracted. However, landlords will generally release the tenant from this contract once a new tenant has been found for the furnished rental.

When the furnished rental is designated as the tenant’s primary residence the contract renewal is automatic, except for students and cases where early termination has been outlined.

An indeterminate contract: giving notice

When the property is not the tenant’s primary residence

If the rental property is not the tenant’s primary residence there is no legal obligation. It is imperative to precise in the contract what the term of notice is and the discharge notice.

Term of notice

Leave of the rental can be given at any moment, by the landlord or the tenant, as long as this respects the term of notice.
The term of notice to give is that which is stated in the contract; if there is not one the notice to give is that which is determined by the law. In the case of furnished rentals, the term of notice determined by the law varies from one to three months, depending on the geographical location of the property.
Failure to comply with the legal term of notice leave does not invalidate the original date of departure; it will remain unchanged.

Notice of discharge

Notice of discharge must be given in such a way that is is clear and not ambiguous as to the desire to end contractual relations of the rental property. In practice it is best to send this notice by signed and tracked mail, so as to avoid the risk the tenant denying having received notice, in case they are of bad faith.
You need no specific reason for sending this notice, but note that once the notice has been given you cannot revert your decision.

The property is the tenant’s primary residence

If the property is the tenant’s primary residence it is crucial to respect the legal provisions in Article L 632-1 of the French Construction and Housing Code. The lease agreement is not actually an indeterminate lease but a periodic lease. The lease must finish after one year and thus renew annually.

Term of notice

The tenant may give notice at any moment, as long as one month is given. From their side, the landlord must give three months notice for the dismissal of the tenant or to deny request to renew the contract.

Notice of dismissal

There is no specification in the law as to how a notice of dismissal must be given but it is recommended to send a letter via tracked and signed post or exchanging directly with the tenant and receiving a receipt.

Good to know

If the tenants are married and the property is their primary residence the notice of dismissal must be given to each individual. There must therefore be two individual letters addressing each tenant. In the same way, in the case of roommates, you need to notify each roommate of the dismissal.

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