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Cyprus: Rent Control Law and the COVID-19 Pandemic 

by Maria Dionysiou

Published: May, 2020

Submission: May, 2020

 



The property rental sector and the relation between Landlords and Tenants could not remain unaffected by the current Covid-19 pandemic, and there is a need to protect Tenants from eviction proceedings due to their inability to pay rent during the pandemic and the period during which emergency lockdown measures are imposed by the Government of Cyprus.


Within the framework of this reasoning, the Rent Control Law (Temporary Provisions) of 2020 was entered into force. Article 3 of the said Law provides that regardless of the provisions of the basic Law, any proceedings in respect of subsection (1) of Article 11, at any stage they might be, shall be suspended until 31 May 2020 and no decision or order for recovery of possession shall be issued by the Court under such procedure until 31 May 2020. In conclusion, with reference to the Law that the eviction procedure is suspended at any stage it might be and, in conjunction with the restriction of unnecessary movements, even eviction orders that have already been issued, but have not been yet executed, are also suspended until 31 of May 2020.


Article 4 of the same Law provides that the provisions of Article 3 of this Law shall not apply if any legally due rent has not been paid until 29 February 2020. This means that for overdue rents until February 2020, Landlords reserve the right to proceed with recovery of the possession of the property, even if the Tenant has been financially affected by the current situation. Of course, the above does not mean that the Tenant is released from the obligation to pay the rent for the months for which the provisions of the Law will apply.


Finally, it should be noted that all the above relate to rentals that fall within the scope of the Rent Control Law and the Regulatory Acts that have been issued for its effect. Specifically, the property must be located within an area designated by the Law as a controlled area, its construction must have been completed by 31 December 1999 and the first rental must have expired or terminated, resulting in the tenant becoming an “institutional tenant” and, therefore, eligible to benefit from the Rent Control Law. Properties (houses or shops) whose construction was competed after 31 December 1999 and/or are not located in areas that the Law has defined as controlled areas are not covered.

 


 

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