CYPRUS: At long last landlords to get legal tools

5 mins read


Here we are dear readers, a long-awaited review of the statutory tenancy laws (it refers to buildings which were completed before 12/2009).  The new proposal is expected to be voted by the House on 22 November, subject to changes which might be introduced.  So, the proposal is not the final one.

The proposal suggests that non-paying statutory tenants can be evicted within 1 month for residential units and for the other within 3 months from the landlord’s application.  This is quite correct since property owners may be in debt or base their income (wholly or partly) on the rental income. 

A recent BBC report suggested that tenants in the U.K. who do not pay leads to the desperation of landlords with many of them having to lose their homes in foreclosures since they cannot meet their obligations. 

Although the U.K. has no statutory tenancies, the legal procedures in that country take considerable time with the various legal tricks used by tenants to avoid/delay payments.

Having studied at a first glance the Cyprus proposal, we suggest that in addition to the non- payment of the rent, a cause for eviction should also be:

·         The non-payment of the common expenses based on proof provided by the administrative committee.

·         Any damage caused by the tenant and or its alternative use without permission from the landlord should also be a cause for eviction.

·         In cases the tenant does not pay, the landlord to be able to place a memo on the tenant’s property (if any) blocking its sale/transactions (as well as those of their guarantors). At the same time, any income that the tenant receives from the government, e.g. social security, pensions to be so reduced against the rental level (USA law).

·         Damage caused to be so assessed by the Technical Chamber of Commerce, within one month from submitting a landlord’s claim.

We believe that we live in a capitalist system (be it is more of a mix between the capitalist system and communist ideology) and the prevailing situation interferes and disrupts the real estate market. 

The situation that exists today encourages the non-paying tenants, who, over the years of delay in legal/court decisions, frustrate the landlords, who more often than not forgo the delayed rents, which could run into thousands, so they can get rid of the bad tenant.

This state of affairs has discouraged landlords to let out their properties with the end result being a scarcity of units to let, which has seen an increase in rents which over recent years have spiked by 30%-40% (residential units) with apartments disappearing.

There are provisions for subsidised rents by the government for the needy and financially weak tenants are assisted.

There are many other provisions that require discussion, such as the issue of insurance/rebuilding of one’s property, the proposed set-up of a Council which might undertake to repair commonly owned properties (where this Council is going to find the money, or who is to lend it, is another matter) and so on.

It  is a good start and with parliamentary approval expected, it will be all for the best (we must comment on the unreasonableness of the communist party objecting to this proposal, but, then, it is their ideology).

We wish to add here that what is more important than the rental level, is the ability of the tenant to pay. 

Bearing in mind the higher rental the landlord requires the higher the risk of non-payment.  Make sure that lease agreements for one year or less, require 4 witnesses (2 for each party), whereas we find it necessary to include in a lease agreement guarantors (usually the wife of the tenant) giving details e.g. ID number, full address etc.

We will come back to you after the Bill is voted on.