Therefore, long private residential leases cannot have a duration of less than 1 year. This means that a contract of 8 months, for example, will be considered to be a contract for 1 year.
This problematic behaviour was addressed by the Residential Leases Act. Post 2020, if the landlord does not want to renew the contract, then they must give 3 months' notice of this to the tenant by registered mail. If they do not do this, then the contract is automatically renewed for another year.
In line with many other countries, therefore, tenants can withdraw with no penalty from a long private residential lease:
- after a period of 6 months when the rental contract is for a period of less than 2 years
- after a period of 9 months when the rental contract is for a period of 2 years or more but less than 3 years
- after a period of 12 months in the case where the rental contract is for a period of 3 years or more
If the tenant withdraws from a long private residential contract before the lapse of the di fermo periods specified above, then the landlord may retain an amount not exceeding 1 month's rent from the deposit left by the tenant. The landlord may choose to take legal action against the tenant for any other outstanding amount.
- 1 month's notice when the contract is for a period of less than 2 years
- 2 months' notice when the contract is for a period of between 2 to 3 years
- 3 months' notice when the contractd is for a period of 3 years or more