When and how can a tenant terminate a lease?

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Rudolphe ABEN

When and how can a tenant terminate a lease?

Termination of a lease by a tenant is generally much easier than by a landlord, but both parties still have responsibilities. Is there a distinction between fixed-term and open-ended leases? How much notice is required? Learn everything you need to know about the most modern methods of terminating your contract.

Most importantly, you should review the lease termination policy

It's important to read the entire lease before you sign it when you move into a new apartment. This will help you avoid any unpleasant surprises down the road, such as additional cleaning fees. Specifically, the landlord may have extended the notice period in the lease agreement if legislation requires a 3-month notice. Before you give your landlord notice of your move, check the details here.

In addition, the terms of departure change depending on the specifics of the lease. If the tenant signs a fixed-term lease, they often cannot move out before the end of that period, unless the landlord commits some sort of material breach of contract. On the other hand, if you have an open-ended lease, you have the ability to move out whenever you want. However, the concept of notice is consistent in its application.

What are the procedures to follow in case of termination of a lease ?

Notification of the landlord by registered mail with return receipt is recommended but not mandatory. By taking this step, you can rest easy knowing that the landlord has been made aware of the situation and cannot be held responsible in case of disagreement.

In this letter, please specify the date you want to leave the apartment, taking into account the required notice period. Leaving your landlord in limbo as to why you are leaving is perfectly acceptable.

Tips on managing the notice period

It is common to give three months' notice, during which time rent must be paid on both the current and former unit. Preparing to leave in advance can help you save money. If you want to leave your fixed-term lease on the last day of the lease term, you must give your landlord three months' notice. The contract will be interpreted as an open-ended lease if the term is not specified.

Many tenants and landlords are actually able to negotiate a shorter notice period. In fact, you can introduce a replacement tenant to the landlord yourself who is ready to move in; if the landlord is willing, you can set a move-in date with the new tenant to minimize your notice period.

Be careful: even if you have to leave quickly, you must not forget to do an inventory of fixtures. In the event of a dispute over the refund of the security deposit, this document will serve as the basis for the decision.