Every year on Walpurgis Eve (April 30th), the notifications come in en masse on leases, often per e-mail and usually after most offices have closed for the day. Being last minute with your notification puts undue stress on many parties involved and may put you at risk of paying an extra month's rent that you did not plan on. Since, notification rules are based on the calendar principle and not the day principle, getting your notice on the right side of the calendar month is crucial.
Why does one day per the calendar principle matter so much in the grand scheme of things when giving notice?
Per rental law, calendar month is the rule. This means, for example, that the tenant of a privately owned property has a 1-month calendar month notification period IF you want to vacate prior to the lease being up. So, if the notice is given on April 30th and gets confirmed by the landlord, then the lease ends on May 31st. However, if the notice is given and confirmed on May 1, then the last day of the lease is June 30th. On "hyresrätter", so called council flats, the tenant also has to remember to give notice 3 calendar months before the lease expires. Otherwise, the lease automatically renews on a 3-month mutual notification period for both parties. Lots to keep straight as the type of apartment you sublet determines notification periods.
Who should give the notice?
If you are a private individual and you are renting the property directly, then you are the right person to make the notice. However, if this is a corporate lease in the sense that your employer is renting the property, then the notification needs to come from an authorized person at the company. It is a dire mistake if your employer is the tenant for you to make the notice as it can create a discussion whether ot nor the notification is actually legally binding. Unless you are the CEO of the company or listed as as an authority to sign on behalf of the corporation, then do not put in the notice yourself.
When does one not need to give notice?
On privately owned properties, no one needs to give notice and the lease is over when the lease period is up. The only time notice needs to be given is if the landlord or the tenant wishes to end the lease prior to the lease period's end.
How shall a notice be given?
- By e-mail or by recommended post.
If the e-mail recipient confirms the notification by e-mail reply, then nothing else needs to be done. This is sufficient. If the e-mail recipient has not confirmed the notification then a recommended letter needs to be sent. This letter should be sent to the landlord. Keep your receipt of the recommended letter and the date of the letter being sent (this is your proof of notification) is legally binding as the notification date. Please do not skip this and rely on the good will of the landlord. Unfortunately, most times early notices do not come at an opportune time for the landlord and they may choose to get another month's rent because they got you on a technicality. We have seen it happen quite a few times.
- Do it in time.
It creates unnecessary stress to do it last minute. Start the process around the 15-20th of the month. This gives you time to get confirmation of your e-mail and to avoid running to the post office last minute and hysterically trying to figure out whom the correct recipient of such letter should be. Sometimes the landlords move during the tenancy and you may need some time to find their new contact information.