Cyprus Mail

Obligations of statutory tenant and landlord


The tenant is obliged to pay rent and the owner to make repairs


A lease, like any other contract, contains the contractual rights and obligations for landlords and tenants.

In statutory tenancies, social policy directed towards the protection of statutory tenants imposes the necessity of regulating statutorily specific obligations owed by landlords to tenants, as well as some of their rights which do not affect the status of the tenant, but relate to the possession of the premises.

The Rent Control Law provides for the creation of a chose of action in favour of the tenant, in the event that a landlord fails to fulfill their obligation of keeping the premises in good condition. The right of the tenant is limited to claiming from the owner the fulfillment of their obligations provided by law, given the right to bring an action against them before the court. Nevertheless, the tenant is in no circumstances released from the obligation to pay the rent.

According to the law, as long as a tenant is in possession of the premises, either a house or a shop, and provided they fulfill the terms and conditions of the last tenancy agreement, they have the right to enjoy the benefits of the tenancy.

These terms of statutory tenancy are stated in the Rent Control Law, L. 23/1983, article 27.

The sub-tenant who becomes statutory also has this right, subject to any existing restrictive agreements contained in the rental agreement between the owner and the tenant.

The tenant is entitled to quit possession of the property, only after giving notice to the owner, as provided for in the rental agreement and in the event that such notice is not required, at least one month before, unless the landlord and tenant agree otherwise.

It is also provided in the provisions of article 27 of the Law, that if there is no tenancy agreement or in the absence of any provisions in the tenancy agreement to the contrary, the landlord is obliged to repair any latent defects in the premises, the watertightness of the roof, the electrical, plumbing and drainage installations, as well as any natural wear and tear that endangers the life of the tenant or their neighbours.

On the other hand, the tenant is obliged to protect the property from damages that may be caused by them, any other person living in the premises or any guests, having the obligation to repair them without delay. Furthermore, the tenant is obliged to allow the landlord to inspect the premises at reasonable intervals and with a reasonable notice.

For the fulfilment of the aforementioned obligations of the landlord, the tenant may notify them of the necessary repairs or maintenance and the landlord is obliged to perform them without delay. The same applies for the tenant and their obligations. Failure to perform the obligations for repairs or maintenance of the premises creates an actionable right.

It is also provided that in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, the tenant is obliged to pay communal expenses, including any minor expenses for the maintenance of the communal areas of the building, but excluding serious expenses for maintenance, alteration or replacements.

The tenant is obliged to allow the landlord to make reasonable repairs, renovations and alterations to improve the condition and appearance of the premises.

Failure of the landlord to carry out repairs does not constitute a defence in an application by the landlord for the eviction of the tenant for not paying the rent. Whether or not a tenant exercises their right against the landlord is independent of the obligation to pay the rent.

In the event that the tenant chooses to refuse to pay the rent in arrears and the landlord serves a notice for payment within 21 days, and the tenant continues to refuse to pay after 14 days from the lapse of the deadline for payment, then the tenant is legally exposed, an order of eviction will be issued and they will be ordered to pay the rent in arrears too. No court will tolerate a tenant choosing not to pay rent instead of exercising their rights against the landlord. In any event, the law does not allow it.


George Coucounis is a lawyer specialising in the Immovable Property Law, based in Larnaca, e-mail [email protected],

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