Tenants, landlords, do you know the cases where a landlord can break the contract, and how he must go about it? Probably not always. In Paris, through ignorance or malice, 19% of rental leave procedures are irregular, according to the Departmental Agency for Information on Housing in Paris (ADIL 75). In a study, the full results of which should be published in September, the network wondered about the presumed resurgence of these steps in the capital and its origins. ADIL also checked the conformity of the procedures (information correctly transmitted to the tenants, respect of the notice period, etc.) and the motivations of the lessors for nearly 200 files.
Why rental holidays are exploding and worrying in Ile-de-France
“We have launched an investigation because for the past few months, our teams and the administrations with which we work have noticed that this question comes up more frequently”, reports ADIL 75. However, these leaves can target tenants “established for several decades, who will have difficulty finding accommodation,” worries the network. Among the possible explanations for this situation, ADIL 75 mentions the forthcoming ban on renting the most energy-intensive properties, which would encourage several landlords to part with these apartments. “Perhaps in Paris, some landlords are also tempted to rent more expensively in order to circumvent the rent control”, also suspects Michel Fréchet, the president of the General Confederation of Housing (CGL), a defense association of “housing users”.
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If the findings of the ADIL in Paris are worrying, it remains difficult to generalize this subject on a national scale, and even more to quantify it. “For the moment, among the complaints that we study each year, we do not see any increases in disputes related to rental holidays”, warns Michel Fréchet. The association for the defense of tenants Consumption Housing Living Environment (CLCV) is also cautious. “We had some local feedback, but I cannot tell you if the requests are quantitatively higher than in other years”, explains its legal director, David Rodrigues.
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Three valid reasons for breaking the lease
While waiting to see if the phenomenon is confirmed or not, it may be useful to recall the cases where the owner has the right to send a notice to his tenant. It’s simple, there are three: leave for resale of housing, leave for repossession, and leave for “legitimate and serious reason”. Depending on the nature of the rental (furnished or empty), the notice period given to the tenant will be 3 or 6 months.
However, there is protection for tenants over 65 and for those with a dependent over 65, if the tenant has income below a certain resource ceiling. These ceilings can be found on the website of the Ministry of the Interior. However, this protection does not apply if the landlord himself is over 65, if he has resources below the ceilings mentioned above, or if he offers his tenant a rehousing solution corresponding to the needs of the senior and his resources. However, this accommodation must be similar and close to the previous one.
In the case of leave for resale, the lessor has the obligation to offer his tenant first and foremost to buy his property, when it is rented empty. Logically, he must then send the latter the conditions of sale and the price. This purchase offer remains valid for two months. If the tenant accepts, after having given his answer, the transaction must then be carried out within four months if the tenant has recourse to a credit, within two months otherwise. This purchasing priority, however, does not apply in the case of a furnished rental.
Note that the lessor can also choose to sell the accommodation by leaving it occupied by his tenant, without even being obliged to notify the latter. The contract can then continue under the same conditions, with a new lessor, who must however respect a certain period before being able to give a possible leave to the occupant of the accommodation.
Leave for sale: principle, procedures and nullity
Then, the owner can request leave to house a relative or himself. The relative can be a spouse, a partner or a cohabiting partner. He can also be an ascendant (parent, grandparent, etc.) or a descendant (child, grandchildren, etc.) of the owner or his spouse, partner or cohabiting partner. It will then be necessary for the owner to specify to his tenant the nature of the link with the beneficiary, and to justify the need to take over housing.
- Leave for “legitimate and serious” reasons
In the latter case, the owner must justify the request for leave: this may be a lack of maintenance of the accommodation, neighborhood disturbances, repeated late payments, etc. The “legitimate and serious” nature of the reason can however be contested by the tenant before the court.
The procedures to follow
Before breaking the contract, the lessor must obviously inform his tenant, but also each of the co-holders of the lease, married spouses and or PACS partners, by a letter of leave. He must then send – at his choice – a registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt, a bailiff’s act, or deliver the mail by hand against signature or receipt. The National Housing Information Agency (ANIL) specifies that the notice period starts on the day of receipt of the letter. In the event that the registered letter has not been delivered and returned to its sender, the notice of dismissal is void. Depending on the reason for the leave, a certain amount of information must imperatively appear in the letter or letters sent, which you can find in detail in the table below.
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