Types of tenancy in Cyprus and the Rent Control Law
There are two types of tenancy in Cyprus. The “contractual” and the “statutory” tenancy. It is essential to identify the type of the tenancy which exists in a given case in order to ascertain which Court has jurisdiction to decide on the matter.
Statutory tenancy arises where the first tenancy expires or is properly terminated and the tenant remains in possession of the property. Furthermore, the property, residential or business, must be situated within the “controlled areas” under the Rent Control Law (1983) and its latest amendments and the premises must have been completed by the 31st of December 1999. Persons falling under the protection of the rent control law are Cyprus citizens and EU citizens who are residents in Cyprus.
The “statutory tenant” falls under the protection of the Rent Control Law and cannot be evicted expect in certain circumstances provided by law. In order for such owner to be able to repossess his property, he has to proceed through Court. The main circumstances under which the statutory tenant can be evicted are the following:
- When the tenant constantly omits to pay the rent; the rent is in arrear for more than 21 days from the time the notice was given; the tenant fails to pay the amount due within 14 days from the service of the claim.
- The owner satisfies the court that it is necessary for him to have the property for himself, his family members or dependent parents.
- In order to demolish the property and construct a new building or make substantial alterations, which will lead to the development of such property.
Any claims in relation to such “statutory tenancy” fall under the jurisdiction of the Rent Control Court.
All other tenancies, remain contractual tenancies and do not fall under the protection of the Rent Control Law, but are subject to the agreement made by the parties. Usually in such tenancies, the tenant remains in possession of the property only during the lease period unless the tenancy is renewed or extended. Moreover, tenancy of a property for a period not exceeding 6 months is considered to be a contractual tenancy irrespective of when the property was completed or where it is situated. Any claims in relation to a contractual tenancy fall under the jurisdiction of the District Court.