The ABCs of housing

Moving out


At some point it will be time to move into another home. How do you terminate the lease and what other things do you need to remember when moving out? 

Terminating the lease

A lease that is valid until further notice will end when either the tenant or the landlord terminates it. When the landlord terminates the lease, the tenant must be given a written notice of termination which details the end date of the lease and the grounds for termination. The grounds for termination must be legitimate and fair, such as personal occupation of the apartment, selling the apartment etc. If the tenant terminates the lease, the period of notice is one month. If the landlord terminates the lease, the period of notice is three months if the lease has lasted for less than a year and six months if the lease has lasted for more than a year. The agreement will remain valid until the end of the period of notice and you must pay rent until the end date. The legally determined period of notice for a tenant cannot be extended with an agreement, nor can a period of notice for the landlord be shortened. The period of notice will begin on the last day of the month in which the written notice of termination was received. For example, if you submit a notice of termination to the landlord on 15 November, the one-month period of notice will begin on the last day of November, so you will have to pay rent for the entire month of December.

Cancelling the lease

Cancelling the lease means that the lease will end immediately without a period of notice. A lease can only be cancelled in particular situations prescribed by law. The most common reasons for cancellation are failure to pay rent and living in a manner that disturbs the neighbours. Usually the landlord must submit a warning to the tenant before the lease can be cancelled. If the reason for cancellation is failure to pay rent, the lease can also be cancelled without warning. An eviction means clearing out the apartment if the tenant has failed to move out of the apartment by a date set by a court. Only a court can decide on ordering an eviction.

The condition of the apartment upon moving out

As time goes by, the apartment will be subjected to natural wear and signs of use such as aging of the wall and floor surfaces. As the tenant, you are not responsible for natural wear (such as a mark caused by hanging up a painting) unless otherwise agreed. In other words, the landlord cannot expect the apartment to be in exactly the same condition at the start and the end of the lease. However, you are responsible for any damage caused deliberately, by carelessness or by negligence. You are also responsible for any damage caused by your friends. When you move out, there will be a written condition inspection of the apartment detailing the condition. The inspection is important, as you are only responsible for the damage caused during your lease. Be sure to clean your apartment and storage facilities before moving out. Any cleaning and repair costs will be deducted from the deposit returned to you. Be sure to also return all keys you have received and any additional keys you may have had made to the landlord.

 

Check list for moving out

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