The Legal Rights Of Cyprus Landlords

The Legal Rights Of Cyprus Landlords

With the Cyprus housing market gaining momentum, boasting price increases for every quarter since early 2018, more and more landlords are choosing to rent property out in the area. Before becoming a landlord, however, it’s crucial to become familiar with local rental laws. Landlords have different rights than tenants in Cyprus, and it’s important to understand the difference before renting out a property. Here are some of the most important legal rights of which landlords in Cyprus should be aware.

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Recent Changes in Housing Laws

Current Cyprus laws regarding the rights and responsibilities of landlords are fairly recent. They were enacted in response to the Turkish military invasion of 1974, which forced thousands of families to relocate to the South. This move created a housing shortage, resulting in many tenants losing their homes to rent hikes and other property issues. However, the laws introduced in 1975 have made it difficult for landlords to evict tenants who default on their rent. The Rent Control Court was created to settle disputes out of court and offer greater financial protection for local landlords.

The Two Categories of Rental Spaces

Rental houses in Cyprus are controlled by one of two laws. According to the 1983 Rental Control Law, residential or business premises that fall under “controlled areas” such as towns, suburbs, and social centres. In this case, after the first tenancy has expired or been terminated, landlords can demand a maximum increase of 14% of current rental rates.  However, two years must elapse from the date of the last application of the time of the previous voluntary increase.

If a tenant refuses an increase in rental costs, the Rent Control Courts can step in. A tribunal determines reasonable rent by considering the opinion of the official valuer, dimensions of the property, details about the renters such as age and income, as well as location. The Rent Control Court

The free market, on the other hand, has much less regulation. Landlords should be wary of renting to a new tenant without stipulations in place. Eviction can be a challenge under Cyprus law, especially considering rent control in the area.

Evicting Tenants

Renters are protected by the Rent Control Law of Cyprus if they fail to meet their contractual obligations. This also goes for statutory tenants, who cannot be evicted except by court order and only under specific, predetermined circumstances. Even evicted tenants can potentially remain in possession of a premises except for these three separate cases:

●     Failure to pay rent

●     Eviction based on pre-established criteria

●     Plans to renovate or rebuild a property

Even in these cases, the Rent Control Court still has an ultimate say over what happens in any dispute between tenant and landlord. Currently, there are two courts, each composed of a Judiciary President and two lay members. In such cases, it's not uncommon for the Court to rule in favour of the tenants. They may demand that landlords grant families the right to a new tenancy instead of damages.

Cyprus landlords hold a significant legal obligation to provide safe and steady housing to their tenants. However, if tenants fail to uphold their end of a contract, it can be difficult for landlords to win in court thanks to recent changes in property laws. Instead, property owners can appeal to the Rent Control Court, allowing them to settle legal and financial disputes out-of-court.

BY: Jennifer Dawson

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