The duration and termination of a lease contract
Renting a house may be the most common way of satisfying one’s residence needs, however there are some details lurking in the contract or in the law that both the lessor and the lessee should watch out to avoid any unpleasant disputes. For this reason, some basic principles are set out below, specified on the termination of the lease.
The most likely scenario is that the tenants use the leased premises as their main residence. In this case, the provisions of Greek Law 1703/1987 are applied, in conjunction with the articles of the Greek Civil Code. More specifically, the parties are bound by law for a minimum 3-year period, even if the lease is agreed for a shorter duration. The agreement can be dissolved prior to this minimum 3-year period for reasons provided in the articles of the Civil Code. The simplest way is for the parties to mutually agree not to continue the lease on the property, and as a result the lessee will hand the property to the lessor. Moreover, in the event of a fixed term agreement, either party can individually terminate the contract prior to its expiration date, projecting a certain significant reason for this dissolution. According to the Greek Civil Code, the lessor can claim either a) that the tenant misuses the rental property, by using it contrary to what was agreed upon, or does not behave properly towards the other tenants, b) that the tenant fails to pay all or part of the rent in the time he/she is due to do so or finally c) the apartment will be used by the owner as his/her business premises. The claim that the lessor intends to use the property as his/her main residence no longer constitutes a significant reason justifying the termination of the lease agreement.
Given that the tenants use the leased property as their secondary residence, only the articles of the Civil Code are applied, and at the event that the lease is agreed for a fixed term, the parties are bound by the duration provided in the contract. At the expiration of the determined date, the lease is dissolved without further actions to be taken.
In any case, after the expiration of the date determined by the law or the contract as stated above, the lease is dissolved without further actions to be taken by either party. If the lessee remains at the premises of the property, the lessor is entitled to renumeration for its use. Also, it should be considered that according to the Greek Civil Code, a lease agreed for a fixed term is deemed to have been renewed for an indefinite term if, after the expiry of the agreed term, the lessee continues to use the leased premises and the lessor is aware of this and does not object. To avoid this outcome, a notice of objection to the extension of the agreement must be sent by the lessor either before or after the expiration of the lease. However, it should be noted that the only way to guarantee that the lessee will abandon the apartment is to force a relevant court decision for eviction.
* The information is accurate to the best of our knowledge as at the time of writing. We have no obligation to update it. We accept no responsibility against any third party who is not a client of the firm and has not signed the terms of our engagement.