What Should You Do if Landlord Tries to Evict You?

Что делать, если арендодатель выгоняет из квартиры?
31 January 2022 Irina Star

The owner of the property you rent asked you to collect your things and leave the place as soon as possible, although you had an agreement?

Okay, this happens very rarely, but we also need to analyze such potential situations. 

Over the past few years, rental prices have risen significantly on the Island.

In Limassol since 2017, the rent has increased by 40% at once. Similar figures were in Paphos and Nicosia. Thus, some landlords want to get rid of old tenants and rent their property for a bigger amount of money. But tenants, especially those who have been using real estate for many years, are not always ready for such events.

We must say that a lot depends on the agreement. If there is a tenancy agreement and it is drawn up correctly, it will become a heavy weapon in a war.

Rights of the parties

Often, the rights of the landlord and the tenant of the apartment are prescribed in the contract, which is drawn up in two copies.

The rights of the tenants:

  1. live in a rented property
  2. file a lawsuit in case of non-fulfillment of the contract by the owner of the apartment.

Obligations of the tenant of the residential premises:

  1. use the living space for its intended purpose and within the limits established by the contract
  2. ensure the safety of residential premises
  3. keep the living area in order
  4. timely pay for housing and utilities.

Rights of the property owner:

  1. check the property during the agreed visits, but within reasonable limits
  2. leave their belongings in the property — by agreement
  3. demand timely payment from the tenant.

Responsibilities of the owner of the rented apartment:

  1. transfer to the tenant a vacant living space in a condition suitable for living
  2. to provide or ensure the provision of necessary requirements and services to the employer for a fee.

The relations between the landlord and the tenant in Cyprus is regulated by Rent Control Law No. 23 of 1983. It was last adjusted during the financial crisis of 2013 and at the beginning of 2020.

In 2020, Cyprus officially allowed the eviction of defaulters.

Before the height of the pandemic, in February 2020, the Parliament of Cyprus approved an important bill on the emergency eviction of defaulters within two weeks after notification from the landlord of the start of the eviction procedure through the court. 

Thus, the only valid reason for eviction today may be the absence of payment from the tenant within 21 days or another period stipulated in the lease contract.

So, the owners of Cyprus waited for justice and triumphed, but... Covid-19 changed everything.

The government has proposed a number of measures to save tenants and businessmen.

Rental rates were frozen, and evicting tenants was banned. As soon as the quarantine was lifted, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades publicly refused to sign new restriction to the Rent Control Law, explaining that parliament could not interfere in court cases. In addition, the ban on eviction violated the right to freely conclude contracts.

You have to move out of the apartment — the last thing any tenant wants to hear now.

Especially during the pandemic, when most tenants could not fully pay for rental housing. Fortunately for the tenants, many owners made concessions and reduced the fee, in rare cases — asked to move out. However, sometimes exceptions to the rules still happen.

Tenancy agreement as a guarantee against eviction of the tenant

So, if the landlord really asks to leave the premises, first you need to carefully read your tenancy agreement.

If the lease agreement is still valid, then the victory is highly likely on the tenant's side. Remember that the deposit may serve as payment for the last month of your stay.

If the agreement is no longer valid, activate your diplomacy skills. What does the landlord want? If the issue is to increase the payment in accordance with the market value, then the solution is obvious – to negotiate. 'Automatic renewal' of the contract does not always mean that the owner actually agreed to its extension. They may have their own plans for their property: to place family members in the apartment or to rebuild it. Perhaps the tenant has found a profitable buyer for their property. Therefore, if you do not want to move out, you should ask the owner's plans in advance.

In the absence of a lease agreement, the situation becomes more complicated for both parties. You can expel illegal residents for years. An owner who did not pay income tax and acted according to a gray scheme may face great difficulties.

More often, those who have made repairs in a rented property are kicked out

Sometimes the tenant chooses housing without proper repairs, but at a modest price and with a great location. The new tenant is so happy with the find that they are ready to invest their time and money in repairs. Later, they are faced with the fact that the savvy landlord increases the payment, or even asks to move out of the premises.

Is the risk worth taking? The story is as old as the world and relevant anywhere in the world. 

Most likely, the court will consider the repair as your initiative and no one will compensate it in case of eviction. Write down all the nuances in the rental agreement before moving in, do not throw out the checks. As a rule, all repairs fall on the shoulders of the landlord, or their cost can be deducted from the rental amount. 

Tenants who have thoroughly studied their rights are always confident in the future

There is another interesting nuance: renting real estate built before 2000 and after 2000 are regulated by different laws.

In the first case, it is difficult to evict tenants or raise the price of long-term rent, even if it is significantly lower than the market one, the tenants have to seek special permits through the court. Moreover, the law of rent in such apartments becomes even stricter in relation to the owner after the expiration of the contract. The increase in the cost of renegotiating the contract can be easily challenged.

In general, landlords are not interested in changing tenants often. When changing the tenant, they pay a commission to the agency in the amount of monthly payment and VAT. Add to these expenses the payment of cosmetic repairs and the amount will be round.

Cyprus real estate market experts always emphasize how carefully the Cypriot Rent Control Law refers to tenants.

There are many cases when a landlord who wants to evict a tenant actively helps them find new housing at an affordable price. And all because a good name on a small island is very important.

To protect from controversial transactions, contact reliable real estate agencies in Cyprus and remember your rights.

Cyprus is one of the few European countries where tenants have been treated very loyally throughout the history of the rental business.

Despite the fact that eviction of tenants by force of law obliges the parties to go to court, this way is used extremely rarely, usually the parties find a compromise. This is due to the fact that trials, firstly, require the involvement of appropriate specialists, and secondly, take a lot of time, so the parties resolve issues out of court.

To avoid unpleasant situations when renting an apartment, including not bringing it to eviction, you need to sign a contract. This is the main rule. And do not forget to comply with the terms of the contract, pay the rent on time, use the apartment for its intended purpose, do not violate the rights of neighbors and do not enter into lease agreements with obviously bonded conditions for the tenant, since this is a guarantee that you will not be evicted from the rented apartment.

Interested in housing in Cyprus? Visit DOM. The portal presents the largest real estate database in the country – from residential to commercial. Choose and contact professionals who will help you make the right choice!

See also:

  1. Buying real estate in Cyprus for cryptocurrency
  2. Storage in the living room: 7 Inspiring Ideas for Cyprus Property Owners
  3. First acquaintance with Larnaca
  4. Permanent residence permit in Cyprus
  5. Closer to the stars: what do the most luxurious penthouses in Cyprus look like
  6. Land Registry Department in Cyprus
  7. How the coronavirus affected Cyprus real estate
Source: DOM
Photos: DOM, Pixabay
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