It is significantly important, before signing a tenancy agreement (or sometimes referred to as “lease agreement”), either as a Landlord or as a Tenant, to review carefully the terms of the agreement. Even though, these kind of agreements might seem simple, straightforward one-page agreements, it would be wise to seek the opinion of a legal advisor/lawyer, as by signing any agreement you bind yourself to its terms but also to terms that may not be expressly written in the agreement but are implied by law.
Before signing the tenancy agreement as the Tenant it is important to clarify the following:
- the duration of the lease
- whether the lease can be renewed
- the amount of the deposit and under what conditions it is refundable
- which utilities are included
- whether the landlord can raise the rent after the initial rental period is over
- who else has keys to the property
- is sub-letting allowed?
- Are pets allowed?
- clarification on the repairs
Being the Landlord and before deciding if you wish to have a tenant and who that tenant should be, it is essential to know that evictions of tenants are relatively difficult to achieve in Cyprus. A statutory tenant cannot be evicted except in three cases:
- Where the tenant has failed to pay the rent
- Where the landlord needs the house for himself or for members of his family or his dependent parents
- Where the landlord intends to demolish and reconstruct the house, or to effect such substantial alteration or reconstruction as to render the recovery of possession of the premises absolutely necessary
Even in such cases, the Rent Control Court may order the landlord to grant to the tenant in lieu of damages, the right to a new tenancy after the reconstruction. Finally, the Court may award damages equal to 9-18 months rent, and/or damages for loss of goodwill of a business.
It is also important to know that only the tenant has the right to terminate the contract. The notice period should be specified in the contract – typically, one or two months’ notice is required. If the tenant must leave prior to the expiration of the contract, they are obliged to find another tenant or pay the full rent for the period, provided that the flat remains un-rented. If the landlord rejects three potential tenants presented by the departing tenant, the tenant has the right to terminate and leave within the regular notice period.