Cyprus Amends the Rent Control Law to Ease the Eviction of Tenants
The Rent Control Law of 1983 (23/1983) (the “Law”) was amended on the 31st January 2020 in order to ease the legal procedures in the Republic of Cyprus for the eviction of Tenants who fail to pay their rent. The introduction of amending law 3(I)/ 2020 aims to prevent past abuses of the eviction procedure by Tenants.
Indeed prior to the introduction of these amendments Tenants served with an eviction notice could file a reply without merits and delay the eviction process for many years. The strategy employed was to include a fictitious reply often combined with a counterclaim stating that the Landlord failed to do certain repairs to the property and/or than an amount was actually owed by the Landlord to the Tenant and hence the rent arrears. In addition in order to force the Landlord to negotiate, the Tenant would stop making payments of rents for the whole duration of the proceedings in the Rent Control Court.
Following the introduction of the amending law the combined effect of the procedure of eviction is now the following:
- The Landlord can initiate eviction proceedings in the competent Rent Control Court after 21 days of the service of a written notice.
- The Tenant shall then have 14 days to pay and respond to the eviction proceedings by filing a reply at the Secretary of the Rent Control Court accompanied by receipts proving the settlement of the rent in arrears.
- The Secretary must issue a decision and place it before a Judge for a final review within three (3) working days following the Tenants reply on whether to approve or dismiss the Tenant’s reply. The Court decision will then be final and cannot be appealed.
- If the Court grants an eviction order, the Tenant is provided with a minimum of 90-days grace period to vacate the property.
Following the amending law the burden of proof is shifted from the Landlord to the Tenant to provide evidence such as for example receipts of rent payments to prove compliance with the Law.
The recent amendment to the Law does not apply to eviction applications filed in the Rent Control Court prior to the 31st of January 2020 or for rent(s) due prior to this date, provided that such rent arrears are settled by the 31st January 2021.