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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is it possible to break the lease on a furnished apartment by giving one month's notice, even if the apartment is a "vacation rental" and most definitely a secondary residence, not a principal residence? I'm having a lot of trouble finding any information about the rules in this case. All my research just keeps saying that the rental laws only apply to principal residences.
 

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Sorry - doesn't look good for you: from this site: Résilier son bail : quel préavis ? - Quel préavis pour résilier son bail | De Particulier à Particulier - PAP

Donner congé lorsque le logement ne constitue pas la résidence principale du locataire

Lorsque le logement loué ne constitue pas la résidence principale du locataire, c'est-à-dire lorsqu'il est utilisé à usage de résidence secondaire, de pied-à-terre ou de location de vacances, le congé donné n'est pas soumis à des règles impératives. Seules les clauses du contrat tiennent lieu d'obligation : il convient donc de bien relire le contrat.

Dans le cadre d'une location de courte durée, et notamment en location saisonnière, l'usage est de ne pas prévoir pour le locataire la possibilité de donner congé. Cela ne signifie bien évidemment pas que le propriétaire peut retenir le locataire dans les lieux mais oblige toutefois ce dernier à payer l'intégralité des loyers et charges jusqu'à l'échéance du bail prévu au contrat.
addendum from Bev: Basically, for "secondary residences" there are no rules - it depends on the contract. But the renter winds up having to pay the rent to the end of the term.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Hils.

Our lease does say at the top that it is covered by the laws of 6 July 1989, modified 21 July, 1994, along with the numbers of the laws in question. These laws seem to be the standard rental lease laws in France, not those for short-term or seasonal rentals. Even though this is technically a vacation rental.
 

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Well, basically, it boils down to what's in your Bail.

The alternative, perhaps, is to find someone to take over your Bail for the remainder of the contract. Put an advert on Leboncoin, Vivastreet, etc headed "Cede bail ....".

However, what I don't understand is why it's considered not your principal residence - presumably you have no other property, rented or otherwise, in France, and presumably your current address is where all your "official" paperwork arrives? How is it "technically" a vacation rental?

hils
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, basically, it boils down to what's in your Bail.

The alternative, perhaps, is to find someone to take over your Bail for the remainder of the contract. Put an advert on Leboncoin, Vivastreet, etc headed "Cede bail ....".

However, what I don't understand is why it's considered not your principal residence - presumably you have no other property, rented or otherwise, in France, and presumably your current address is where all your "official" paperwork arrives? How is it "technically" a vacation rental?

hils
It would certainly make things easier if it was our principal residence. But we rented the apartment through Homelidays, a holiday rental website. The rent is normally payable weekly, but because we planned to stay at least two months (when we move out it will have been three months), she agreed to let us pay monthly.

But yes, it is my mailing address here, I used it for my bank account and mobile phone account, etc.

I think I will advertise on le bon coin, but the rent here is exorbitant. This apartment is meant as an alternative to a hotel for vacationers, and from that perspective, it definitely is a great deal compared to a hotel. But for a regular living accommodation, the price is obscene, which is why my husband and I started trying to find a new place as soon as we arrived. But if I will be forced to pay the rent for an entire month that I won't be living here, it would still be preferable to offer a cède bail for cheaper than what I'm paying and take a slight loss than to lose the entire month's rent.
 

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But what does your Bail actually specify?

If it's normally a weekly rental, you should be able to give a week's notice, BUT BUT BUT it depends what your Bail says.

If you prefer, you can scan it and send it to me by email; PM me if you want to do that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Unfortunately the lease says absolutely nothing about conditions of early termination. The end date on the lease is early February. Also, as it is a vacation rental, we were required to pay 30% up front for each month we wanted it for, so she already has 30% of the month of January even though we are now leaving at the end of December.

I won't get too much into detail about the verbal discussion we had when she visited the other week, but she definitely walked away with the understanding that we were trying to get a place for January, but if that failed, then we would leave in Feb as planned (unless she offered us a significantly reduced rent), and she seemed fine with that. Of course we didn't get anything in writing to that effect, and now she is saying that we have changed our minds and gone back on our word, etc etc, and wants to know when she can stop by to get the rest of January's rent.

Obviously if we are legally obligated to pay up to the beginning of February, then I will, but it's a good idea to try to recoup some of our costs by doing a cède bail.

What specifically should I be looking for on the lease that could explain the conditions of lease termination? Does the fact that nothing at all is specified in this regard mean that the lease is binding until its end date?

Thanks a lot for your help with this Hils.
 

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's OK. Without seeing it, I'm guessing you are obligated to the end date of the lease. I really do think your best bet is to try to ceder le bail - you never know - there might be some more mugs out there .... :D

LAUGH! lol

All part of life's learning experience, but I think you should now start making sure that the place, when you leave it, meets exactly what it was when you did the initial Etat de Lieu and Inventory, 'cos it sounds as tho' the landlord might be a bit sh*tty about returning your deposit as well.

The only other thing you could do, perhaps, is to contact ADIL and get their advice.

hils

PS pity this didn't come up a week ago; my sprog was down in Montpellier for the weekend and perhaps could've advised ....
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks, I think we will contact ADIL. Our rental is definitely not seasonal, and it is our only residence in France, and we are here for a year, not a simple vacation, so this apartment may yet be considered our primary residence if we're lucky.

We offered to pay her half the month of January as a gesture of good faith, since we agree that there was obviously a misunderstanding at some point, and she refused. Unfortunately I think we're now past the possibility that this will end on good terms.
 

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You've rented this place through an agent, right? You might find that the threat of going to ADIL will do the trick.

But make doubly and triply sure that the place is as per the Etat de Lieu when you leave it, 'cos they'll try to claw back some of their "loss" that way, otherwise.

hils
 

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It seems that my post containing the relevant section of French Law pertaining to ceding a lease on a furnished/vacation property has been removed because it was in French - derrrrr! If you need the link again, please ask.

hils
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
NP Hils. I didn't know about the English-only rule! Good to know for the future I guess.

Just came back from ADIL and it looks like we are in the right. This is our principal residence and we do have the right to give one month's notice. However, she still has our security deposit and 30% of the month of January's rent, so she can jerk us around if she wants by not refunding us. I think we may be able to talk her into it though, as she will miss out on a lot of clients if I put a review on Homelidays about her actions.

Thanks for all your advice Hils! I'll post an update later about what happens :)
 

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It seems that my post containing the relevant section of French Law pertaining to ceding a lease on a furnished/vacation property has been removed because it was in French - derrrrr! If you need the link again, please ask.

hils
It's been reinstated; thanks Bev. The thread makes sense now.

Will take care in future.

h
 

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NP Hils. I didn't know about the English-only rule! Good to know for the future I guess.

Just came back from ADIL and it looks like we are in the right. This is our principal residence and we do have the right to give one month's notice. However, she still has our security deposit and 30% of the month of January's rent, so she can jerk us around if she wants by not refunding us. I think we may be able to talk her into it though, as she will miss out on a lot of clients if I put a review on Homelidays about her actions.

Thanks for all your advice Hils! I'll post an update later about what happens :)
Am pleased ADIL see it like that. You can get their official help if she won't refund properly - they do carry a lot of weight - and especially since it's an agent, she might just see the sense of playing ball on this occasion. Hold fire before posting on Homelidays tho'; give her time to resolve it all to your satisfaction - then write to her boss and suggest they have a wee word in her shell-like to avoid her doing similar to someone else - they've already made a fair amount of dosh out of you, if they're anything like the agents we use for our chalets (who add 60% to our rates for their cut).

Good luck.

hils
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Oh, I forgot to answer your earlier question. This rental was not through an agent. Homelidays just hosts advertisements for vacation rentals, but the contract itself was between us and the owner.
 

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Ah, OK - a bit less leverage then. But I'm pleased you've found somewhere else you like - DO check the contract carefully ;)

- and don't forget what I said about the Etat de Lieu (don't know what that is in English - Statement of Current Condition, perhaps?) :D
 

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Ah, OK - a bit less leverage then. But I'm pleased you've found somewhere else you like - DO check the contract carefully ;)

- and don't forget what I said about the Etat de Lieu (don't know what that is in English - Statement of Current Condition, perhaps?) :D
Closest English equivalent I can think of is "walk through" - though the French version is not nearly so "casual" as it sounds. Have also seen this referred to (in the UK) as the "inventory" of the property when a new tenant takes occupancy. When I moved into my house in the UK, they included all light fixtures, doorknobs and such.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Having been caught on a couple of my daughter's flats, note even whether/where wallpaper is peeling away, if there are chips in paintwork, any cracked tiles, missing bulbs, keys for external and internal doors, stains on walls, floors, ceilings, condition of shutters, condition of cupboards, misaligned doors, squeaky hinges, state of balcony/window barriers, condition of sanitary ware -

- and EXACTLY what is covered by the landlord (boiler servicing, for example), and what EXACTLY is covered by the charges.

- and note the meter readings, whether or not you are directly responsibly for the utilities.

Don't think in the UK, we say "walk-through"; "inventory" is probably the term, but a French "Etat de Lieu" is much more nitpicky than what I'd consider the "inventory" to be - especially since the French often have two forms : one the "Etat de Lieu", the other the "Inventaire".

hils
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Just to conclude this thread, I though I would mention that I got all 500€ of my caution back in the mail the other day. There was a slight issue with the landlady claiming that the coffee machine was broken, even though we KNOW it wasn't. We told her not to buy a new one (which she was planning to do, and would have taken out of our caution), and that we would take the machine to get repaired at our expense, or buy a used one in similar condition on Bon Coin. It was a very old machine, and no way was I going to lose 80€ or more for a brand new one. Surprisingly, she replied and said she was "mistaken" and the machine was fine. I suspect it was a lame attempt at a cash grab because of our ending the lease early :p . But it all worked out in the end!
 
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