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.

For companies