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Cyprus Strengthens Landlord Property Rights

Cyprus has discussed legal proposals to strengthen the rights of landlord property owners against tenants who refuse to pay rent.

The proposals, of importance to overseas property investors who let to locals, were submitted by MPs Nicos Nouris, Giorgos Georgiou, Efthimios Diplaros and Marios Mavrides. It is intended to overhaul outdated tenancy legislation and will also make the procedures more effective when tenants fail to meet their contractual obligations to landlord property owners.

There was a general consensus from the session that the legislation needed to be modernised. Nouris said: ‘The rent law was introduced after the tragic events of the 1960s and 70s in the Republic of Cyprus, with the intention of protecting troubled citizens, who mainly rented business premises, from eviction and from unreasonable rent increases. Conditions have changed and unfortunately over the course of time, too many problems have arisen from tenants who take advantage of the legislation’s weaknesses.’

The proposals aim to introduce an out-of-court procedure through which the landlord property owner will be able to hand a claim form to tenants who have not paid their rent. This will avoid involving the court.

If payment is not made within 21 days, the debtor is able to seek a 90-day extension. Following this, the case would then be filed within the court. This would aid landlord who are tied to problem tenants.

Importantly, once the court was involved, judges would issue a decision to evict within six months. If owners want to speed up the process as they want to use their premises for business they would be able to have them repossessed as long as they are willing to lose their claim for unpaid rent.

His party will insist on the basic idea but will be willing to negotiate and discuss additional ideas to facilitate the process. There has been complaints for years from property owners who are concerned that the law favours tenants and allows them to take advantage of the legislation and slow justice system.

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