Renting a furnished flat: what is the notice period?

11 february 2021 - "I am the owner of a fully furnished 3-room flat that I would like to rent out. I have heard that the notice period is shorter for this type of rental. Is this correct?" Maître Géraldine Schmidt answers Yannick F, Thônex.

Renting a furnished flat: what is the notice period?

The case of the furnished room should be distinguished from that of other furnished accommodation (studios, flats, villas). Indeed, the legislator has granted a shorter cancellation period only for the lease of a furnished room. This shorter period does not apply to other furnished rentals.

Thus, according to the law, a party may terminate the lease of a furnished room by observing a two-week notice period for the end of a month's lease.

This means in other words that the time that must elapse between the receipt of the leave and the end of the lease is two weeks. The due date, i.e. the date on which the lease contract can be terminated, is the end of one month. It is therefore not possible to give leave to the tenant of a furnished room during the month.

For example, if the lease of a furnished room starts on 1 February 2021, it may be terminated for 28 February, 31 March, etc., provided that the two-week notice period is respected. This regime is only applicable to furnished rooms rented independently of a dwelling or commercial premises.

Furnished rooms are distinguished from studios in that they do not have their own bathroom or kitchen. In addition, to be "furnished", the room must be furnished with the minimum amount of furniture provided by the landlord, i.e. at least a bed, chair, table and wardrobe.

On the other hand, if the room is unfurnished or if it is other furnished accommodation, the leave will be subject to the rules applicable to residential leases, i.e. to Article 266c of the Code of Obligations, which provides that a party may terminate the lease of a dwelling by observing a three-month period for the term set by local custom or, failing that, by the end of a quarter of the lease term (where the contract does not set any such term).

It is worth recalling here that these legal notices of termination are minimum notice periods. The parties may therefore validly extend them but may not provide for shorter periods.

In your case, taking into account the fact that it is not just a furnished room but a furnished three-room flat, you will not be able to benefit from the short notice period provided for in Article 266e of the Code of Obligations. The three-month notice period will apply.

In conclusion, with the exception of Article 266e of the Code of Obligations relating to the period and term of notice for furnished rooms, the Code of Obligations makes no distinction between furnished and unfurnished accommodation. This means, in particular, that all the rules relating to residential leases will apply to your contractual relations.

by Géraldine SCHMIDT, Lawyer CGI Conseils

For further information, CGI Conseils is available in the morning from 8:30 am to 11:30 am on tel. 022 715 02 10 or by appointment.