Terminating a contract

The right to terminate a contract depends on whether it is a fixed-term or ongoing contract. Before you conclude a contract, you should check its type. You should terminate a contract in writing.

Terminating an ongoing contract

An ongoing contract (valid until further notice) ends when one of the parties terminates it. The contract can usually be terminated at any time.

The period of notice of an ongoing contract may not be unreasonably long. For example, it may be two weeks, and at most one month.

In some cases, for example when renting a home, the period of notice only begins on the last day of the month during which notice is given.

Read more about terminating a contract of lease

Terminating a fixed-term contract

A fixed-term contract expires at the end of the contract period. There is no need to give notice. You may only terminate a fixed-term contract during the contract period in certain special situations.

If a consumer wishes to terminate the contract during the contract period without a particular reason, the company may set any reasonable conditions for accepting the termination. The company may be entitled to fair compensation for early termination of the contract. The compensation must correspond to the actual costs the company incurs because of the termination.

If the consumer is facing financial difficulties due to a significant and unexpected change in their life situation, they may appeal to a social force majeure (inability to pay for social reasons). Changes in life situation may include an illness, unemployment, disability or some other reason the consumer cannot control. A social force majeure usually gives the consumer a right to terminate the contract, in which case the company can only charge the fees owed until the date on which the contract is terminated.

In some cases, special legislative provisions apply to terminating a contract. Such legislation as the Electricity Market Act and the Act on Electronic Communications Services contain special provisions on the terms and conditions of electricity supply contracts and subscriptions.

Read more about terminating subscriptions

You should give notice in writing

You can use a freely worded notice of termination to terminate a contract. A contract of lease is an example of a contract that you must always terminate in writing, however.

Read more about terminating a contract of lease

If you give notice verbally, you should ensure that you receive a written acknowledgement, for example by e-mail. You can also send your notice to the e-mail address given by the company in its contact details.

A company may not charge a separate fee for terminating the contract.

What you should do if you find contract terms unfair 

  • If you think that a contract term is unfair, you should first negotiate with the company on adjusting it and making it more reasonable. An unfair or unjustifiably changed contract term may concern, for example, price, duration of the contract, delivery time, payment, invoicing, penalties for errors or termination of the contract.

    Often the problem can be resolved when you notify the company as soon as possible.

    If the company does not react as you would like, submit a written complaint to the company with a detailed description of the problem and a list of your demands.

    Justify your demands and provide evidence to support your claim, if possible. For example, photographs, documents, e-mail correspondence, and other evidence (such as fault diagnoses) may help.

    You can use our Complaint Assistant to file a complaint. The Complaint Assistant also provides information about your rights and helps you assess what kind of demands you can make.

    Complaint Assistant – Filing a complaint with a company


  • If the opposing party is willing to resolve the issue, try to find a satisfactory solution through negotiation.

    Consider carefully whether you can accept the service provider’s proposal. Often there is not just one right solution. However, reconciliation is usually a better and more economical solution than a prolonged dispute.

  • If the complaint and the negotiation procedure do not lead to an amicable solution, you can contact the Consumer Advisory Services for instructions.

    The processing of your case usually requires information about the opposing party’s view.

    Consumer Advisory Services 


For companies