When you move out of a property you need to plan several months ahead, in order to give the landlord sufficient notice that you are leaving.

Terminating the rental agreement

You can terminate the rental agreement (or lease) at any time provided that you give the requisite notice – called the “préavis”.
In Grenoble, which is considered to be an area with a housing shortage, the minimum notice period is one month.
In Valence, you must give the landlord three months’ notice.
If you live in a furnished property, the minimum notice period is one month, regardless of your place of residence.

The request to terminate the rental agreement must be sent by registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt (“lettre recommandée avec accusé de réception”).
The notice period begins as of receipt of the letter.

Good to know
The rental agreement can also be terminated by the landlord in some situations. In this case he must give you six months’ notice (or three months in the case of a furnished property).

Outgoing inventory of fixtures

The outgoing inventory of fixtures (“état des lieux de sortie”) is used to compare the condition of the property at the beginning and the end of the rental and, if repairs are required, to determine whether the landlord or the tenant is responsible for carrying them out.

At the end of the inspection, the inventory is drawn up in duplicate and signed by the landlord and yourself.
You must return the keys and leave the property on completion of the inventory.

Refund of the security deposit

If the outgoing inventory is consistent with the ingoing inventory, the deadline for returning the deposit is reduced to one month.
Otherwise, the deposit must be returned to you within two months of your departure.
 
Good to know
If the landlord charges you for repairs to the property, he must provide proof in the form of quotes or bills.