Can Landlord and Tenant freely agree rents in Cyprus? The confusion over the right to increase Rent.
The rental market can be divided into two broad categories: Houses controlled by the Rent Control Law (1983), and the free market. The Rent Control Law and its updated amendments apply to tenancies of residential or business premises which fall within what the law defines as Controlled Areas, i.e., towns, suburbs and rural centers, which were completed before 31 December 1999. However foreigners (except the non-Citizen wife of a citizen of the Republic) and legal entities controlled by non-residents, are not covered by the provision of the law, and do not benefit from Rent Control Law protection.
Zero increase to rents
The Ministry of Justice and public order, issues a decree every two years, enforcing maximum rent increases when a sitting tenant is involved.
A zero increase has been in place for the past six-year period, ending in April 2019.
Based on the above any sitting tenant could have denied paying a rent hike, if requested by the landlord.
If landlords feel that the rent in force is considerably lower than the market average they can go to court and ask for a rent at the level of 90% of the market rent prices.
The owner will have to request an independent valuation and file a case in the rent Control Court.
What can I do if I am not protected by the Rent Control Law?
If there is a rental agreement in place, rent increases are set by the clauses of the agreement.
If a verbal or written agreement is reached with the tenant, a new agreement is enforced and the tenancy continues. If an agreement is not reached the owner can lead the dispute to court, requesting the eviction of the tenant.
Usually the court decides for the eviction and orders payment of the market value rent from the date the case was filed until the eviction date.
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