How To End A Long-Term Lease In Italy

A sample "lettera raccomandata" to break a long-term lease.

How To End A Long-Term Lease In Italy
A street in Verona, Italy.

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To become an official resident in Italy, one typically needs to sign a long-term rental contract, such as a 3-year or 4-year lease.

However, what happens if you need to move out early and cancel the lease?

Don't worry—Most long-term Italian rental contracts allow tenants to break their lease early as long as they provide written notice 3-6 months in advance.

In many long-term rental contracts, including my previous 4+4 contract, tenants must provide at least six months of notice before vacating the home. However, it's important to check your contract; some allow a shorter notice period of three months. It might also be possible to negotiate an earlier termination date or a sublease agreement with your landlord.

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Step 1: Write a Formal Letter to Your Landlord [Template Below]

Tenants in Italy must send a registered letter by mail to their landlord indicating that they wish to terminate their lease before its expiration date.

Here is a template you can use for the registered letter (Lettera Raccomandata):

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, Postal Code]

[Name of Landlord]
[Landlord's Address OR Rental Agency’s Address]
[City, Postal Code]


Gentile [Landlord's Name],

Le scrivo per comunicarLe la mia decisione di terminare il contratto di locazione per [Property Address], iniziato il [Start Date] e con scadenza il [End Date].

A causa di circostanze impreviste, mi trovo nell'impossibilità di proseguire con l'affitto della proprietà. Pertanto, propongo di terminare il contratto in data [Earliest Termination Date Allowed by Your Contract].

Conformemente al contratto di locazione, comprendo che è richiesto un periodo di preavviso di [Enter Months of Notice] per una terminazione anticipata. Fornisco questo preavviso con ampio anticipo per facilitare la sua ricerca di un nuovo inquilino.

Mi impegnerò a restituire la proprietà in ottime condizioni e a garantire che tutti i pagamenti relativi ad affitto e utenze siano effettuati fino alla data di terminazione. Sarebbe vantaggioso organizzare un'ispezione congiunta prima della mia partenza per valutare le condizioni della

Cordiali saluti,

[Il Tuo Nome]

Dear [Landlord's Name],

I am writing to notify you of my decision to end the lease agreement for [Property Address], which commenced on [Start Date] and is due to expire on [End Date].

Due to unforeseen circumstances, I am unable to continue leasing the property. Therefore, I propose to terminate the lease on [Earliest Termination Date Allowed by Your Contract].

Per the lease agreement, I understand that a notice period of [Enter Months of Notice] is required for early termination. I am providing this notice well in advance to facilitate your search for a new tenant.

I will ensure the property is returned in excellent condition and that all rent and utility payments are made up to the termination date. It would be beneficial to arrange a joint inspection before my departure to assess the property's condition.


[Your Name]



Step 2: Send the Letter to Your Landlord via Registered Mail (Lettera Raccomandata)

Important documents in Italy are sent as "registered mail", or raccomandata. It's required to send the lease termination letter to your landlord as registered mail, not standard mail.

Sending the lease termination as a registered letter (lettera raccomandata) ensures that the letter reaches its destination and is signed and collected by your landlord. This provides legal protection for you, the tenant, if the landlord claims that you did not provide adequate notice for termination.

To send a registered letter in Italy, visit your nearest Poste Italiane, or log in to their web portal and send the registered letter online.

According to Poste Italiane, sending a registered letter online has the same legal validity as sending one in person at the post office. The hard part is finding a time when their website is functioning!

Requiring three or six months of notice to terminate a rental contract might sound shocking, but it is simply the flip side of the coin for Italian rental laws that often favor the tenant.

In my case, signing a 4-year lease (4+4) allowed me to have a rent-controlled studio apartment in Milan for just €750/month. The six-month notice period didn't feel so long after I saw a bedroom in a shared Milanese apartment going for €800...