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TENANCY DISPUTES

In Cyprus there are 2 types of tenancies. The contractual tenancy and the statutory tenancy. In contractual tenancy, the District Courts of Cyprus have jurisdiction. The judgment of the District Court will depend on the agreement signed between the tenant and the landlord. The said agreement (which must be signed by both parties in front of witnesses) governs the obligations of the parties during the tenancy period. It must be mentioned that tenancies not exceeding 6 months are considered to be contractual tenancies.

A statutory tenant is the person who at the expiration of the 1 st tenancy remains in possession of the property. The property rented to a statutory tenant must be located in a controlled area and completed by and/or before 31/12/1999. In statutory tenancies the Rent Control Court will be responsible for the final judgment of the case. Statutory tenants are governed by the Rent Control Act 1983 and can be evicted by the Rent Control Court only if one or more of the below options is/are applicable:-

  • The tenant does not pay the agreed rental amount for more than 21 days and after 14 days of giving written notice still fails to pay the agreed rental amount;
  • The landlord satisfies the court about the necessity to use the property for himself, his family members or depended parents;
  • Where the landlord wished to demolish and reconstruct the property;
  • When the tenant is found guilty of disorderly conduct;
  • For preservation or restoration works of the property;
  • When the tenant subleases the premises without the consent of the landlord or realizes profit from the property;
  • The property has suffered serious damages due to the negligence of the tenant and the tenant fails to prepare them within two months of the date on which the court application was serviced to him;
  • If the property is reasonably demanded from the local and governmental authorities (e.g. for expropriation) or the property was rented to the tenant for a public purpose which is no longer applicable; and
  • The tenant provided a written termination notice to the landlord and based on that notice the landlord executed a selling or rental agreement.

Another option available for landlords who deal with statutory tenants is the increase of the current rental amount of the property. After the first tenancy has been expired or terminated the law allows for an agreed increase of the existing rent. This can be achieved through an application which will be submitted to the Rent Control Court in order for a “fair rent” to be determined. The “fair rent” will be determined based on 90% of the average rents of the proximity area to the rented premises. Thus, if the rent payable is lower than 90% of the average rents, it can be increased and determined on this basis. However, if the tenant is a refugee or a sufferer the rate cannot be higher than 80%. In order for a “fair rent” to be determined a valuation by an expert valuer shall be prepared on the basis of the market rent, the average rents of the proximity area, the age, dimensions, location, character and condition of the property. The valuation shall be based on the comparison of the property with other rented properties situated in the same street. It must be noted that no application can be submitted before the lapse of two years from the date on which the tenant received possession of the property.

For further information on this topic please contact us by email on el@elambroulaw.com. This document is not intended to be a substitute for legal advice and therefore provides only general information.

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