How to Give Notice to my Landlord

Looking for some advice and guidance please guys.

We (my wife and me) are moving back to England very soon. In time honoured fashion we have waited for two months and suddenly a house has become available for rent where we need to be. We need to move into it on the 1st February and so I suddenly need to give notice to my current Landlord in Bordeaux. One month's notice is required and so I need to have that notice with him by 31st December of this year.

Was talking to someone who said there is a form of words that you need to use on these occasions in order for the notice to have legal viability. also if I send the notice by email I need to follow it up with a printed version.

Is this actually the case - that I need to use a specific form of words? If so, can anyone let me have them or point me in the right direction to find them?

Also if I send the notice by email do I really need to send a paper version subsequently?

Has to be done in next couple of days so if anyone could help me out with advice or guidance on this subject I would be hugely grateful.

Many thanks in advance.

I’m quite an experienced French renter now Karen, almost 3 years. And 3 places in 3 diff departments! Did it all by myself As well, but with a few hiccups enroute! if you need anything else till PHF return, send me a PM.


Your rental agreement is automatically renewed for another 3 years under the same conditions as the original contract, if you did not hear anything to the contrary from your landlord at least 6 months before the end of the contract. So if you've been there for 11 years and you hear nothing in the next 6 months you have the right to stay for the 12 years + another 3.

You would give 3 months notice at any time you decide to leave assuming it's infurnished and not for health reasons etc.

See info here on ANIL site:

I don't mean to hijack your thread Shaun, but this brings up a question that I have pondered. I moved into my house with a three year lease, When the lease expired I stayed on without signing a renewal. I have been in this house for 11 years now. In what way would this situation affect my ability to move, should I ever decide to do so?

I'll probably leave here feet first, but I am curious since I have no lease currently in effect. I presume that there is some stipulation in French law regarding this, but I cannot find it.

Mandy, the last site link about ’ your rights’is brilliant - unfortunately all in French with no translation possible for me. I have looked at it before for several reasons, but today I again followed on and used the links for European strangers, living here and not working. If we have lived here permanently for 5 years or more we can apply for and get our piece of paper eventually that gives us permission to be classed as permanent residents in France without having to take out French/dual Nationality.

There is also explanatory info on marriage/divorce/separation for those may need it! I can translate many individual words for myself on many French websites, but when it’s legal or financial that’s when I need to know the ‘precise’ sense of whatever document, rule or regulation, especially as so many are changing! I’m sure it’s the same for many other Expats living here as well! Thanks for reminding those of us who read Shaun’s Discussion with that particular link. It might be worth you making all or some of those links a new discussion, especially for more recent newcomers

Yes I noticed that. I changed it when I wrote my letter to maison. I use Please Help but unfortunately they are on holiday until January and I need to give my notice now which is how I found the standard letter on Anglo Info and tweeted it :)

Karen, a minor, or possibily not, point is that your wording states it’s a rented apartment.

Knowing how french law is or can be a stickler for absolutely correct wording relevant to property concerned, I think Shaun needs to use the word ‘maison’ because there may also be a contracted 'service’charge in his contract and law may apply slightly differently for a rented houses as opposed to rented appartements!

That’s why I’m using a Huissier to chase my landlady I.e. For the legal knowledge and Pls Help France for translation and a couple of other minor things they help with. Any help you employ/use in France costs, so it’s worth paying for the right help if necessary or it can cost more in the long run.

Unfortunately mine is deemed furnished because it has a few falling to bits kitchen cupboards one with oven that didn’t work properly and controls gave up the ghost after 2 uses only and an island unit with cupboards under, sbut 3 months is still the notice on my contract, if no health issuess umaking a move necessary, then it’s 1 month and not sure but possibly 2 months if retirement age but healthy! Also there is an inset hand basin in bathroom in not bad shelved cupboard adrawer pack! worktop covers all.
The rest of the furniture elsewhere is all mine!

I moved in here in March 2014 and some rules and regs have changed since my Contract was signed.

I’d have preferred to move into an empty kitchen, at the time here I was prepared to have had some flat pack units installed at my cost. I could have chosen interiors I wanted and knew would have been more useful to me! I offered to replace this grotty kitchen within weeks of moving in, was prepared to leave it when I left. Initially she agreed and I think when she realised it wouldn’t be ‘her’ builder to do the work, she changed her mind! I know and understand why now, too many hidden things wrong or illegal re electrics and pipes. That’s why I’m taking legal action now for that and other things, with the support of the Huissier.

Also my French neighbours down the road had a fully fitted kitchen and had to give 3 months notice, they left in October.

If the property is furnished I believe you only have to give one month's notice. A model letter is available here

If unfurnished or you have a special reason for needing to leave earlier (health etc) then the model letter is here

For more information you should read this if your French allows.

Hope this helps.

I found this on Anglo Info Shaun. Hope it helps. You have to send it by registered post.

Your address

Landlord/Agent address

Objet: Résiliation de bail avec 1 [3 for unfurnished apartments] mois de préavis

Madame, Monsieur,

Je vous fais part de mon intention de résilier mon contrat de location de l'appartement situé [insert address], que j'occupe depuis le [insert date of the start of rental contract].

Cette résiliation sera effective un [trois for unfurnished apartments] mois après la date de réception de cette lettre recommandée.

Je reste à votre entière disposition pour convenir d’une date de remise des clefs et d’établissement de l’état des lieux de sortie.

Dans l'attente de votre réponse, je vous prie d'agréer, Madame, Monsieur, l'expression de mes salutations distinguées.

[name and signature]

What it says, in English

Subject: Termination of rental contract with one month notice


I am writing to inform you of my intention to terminate the lease of the apartment I have rented at [insert address], since [insert date].

The notice period is one [three for unfurnished apartments] month, from the day of reception of this registered letter.

I remain at your disposal to agree on a date to return the keys and to do an inventory and condition report (état des lieux).

I await your prompt reply.


[name and signature]

As said unless you receive rsa or are moving for health/work reasons, standard rental contracts demand 3 months notice. The notice must be send by recommandé avec avis de passage.

I've never used a 'model' to give notice just written that

je vous informe que souhaite donner mon préavis sur le logement situé (address) J'attends votre réponse pour le date de l'état de lieux

Recevez Madame/Monsieur mes salutations respecteuses

Is a Health issue involved Shaun in ending to move out within 1 month?

Otherwise it’s a legal French rental agreement, you need give 3 months notice, or pay for the whole 3 month period. You’ll need send letter of Notice, Post Recomandee ARS I think it called, with return receipt and its best land lord receives it by or is dated for 1st January. Notice by email is not acceptable, it must be by post!

Is your landlord French and do you have the customary 3 year Contrat de Locatioon.

Yes there is a specific form of words, sadly I don’t know it at present, of where to find it on the iPad. I remember either Vero or someone else posted the legal wording several months back. I discovered too late that last and current land lady’s work on the Monthly Calendar dates, not 1 month from when you move in to when you leave! A lot of rental laws changed last year,they seem to be trying to change but equal things out for landlords and tenants.

Phone your landlord first and tell him there is a letter on its way to him. As long as it’s dated before 1st Jan you may be Ok, I wouldn’t swear to anything anymore, for you to rely totally on me, but I certainly have experience of 3 different ones, all been different in attitude from when you sign up to rent, to leaving - I’m still in current rental, but know she’ll be a problem when I do leave, although I’m currently taking legal action against her! Most French tenants seem to up and go, after 3 months notice, and be prepared to lose their deposits if they don’t repaint or repair!

Otherwise all I can say is, it sounds far too easy they way yove put it and life ain’t that simple with French rental contracts! Sorry.