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Cyprus

Parliament to scrap third-country worker guarantees, change rent control law

Parliament will vote on Friday to scrap bank guarantees for foreign domestic workers and a bill to make it easier for landlords to evict delinquent tenants.

Ruling Disy MP Marios Mavrides said scrapping the guarantees for third-country domestic workers will help a lot of people who are currently “trapped, having already paid one, two, and three guarantees,” get their money back.

Instead of a guarantee, the bill provides for the employer to issue an affidavit that in the event of the worker leaving without saying anything, they will be paying for the cost of deportation if and when the police tracks them down.

Under the current regime, people wishing to employee a domestic workers from a third country have to deposit between €350 and €850 – depending on the country of origin – for the deportation cost “if such a deportation is necessary due to the fact that the third country national is a prohibited immigrant.”

In many cases, domestic workers leave their employers without notice to go to the north but the deposit is not returned unless it is officially determined they have left the island.

The same applies in the cases where they change employers illegally.

According to Mavrides, parliament is also going to be voting on an amendment to the rent control law that will make it easier for landlords to evict delinquent tenants, a near-impossible feat at present.

The amendment essentially shifts the burden of proof on to tenants who will have to pay their dues before they can defend their case in court.

“Under existing legislation, the procedure takes a few years and it is an incentive for certain delinquent tenants to turn it into a profession,” Mavrides said. “They move into the property, pay two rents, and then pay nothing for one or two years before they move into a new property.”

The bill applies to properties built before 2000 and are under the rent control law. Those constructed later will be regulated by a different proposal because they fall under a different legislation, he said.

Mavrides added parliament will try to have that proposal ready as soon as possible to avoid discrimination and two-tier tenants.

 


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