Do Communal Building Expenses in Cyprus Fall on the Landlord or Tenant?
As per the relevant land legislation in Cyprus, building complex management committees are responsible for imposing communal charges on individual apartment or unit owners on the island.
Being the owner of a unit or apartment means that the dwelling is either being leased, renovated or used as a primary residence so in all circumstances, either as a landlord or resident, the obligation falls on the owner to pay the communal charges however this obligation can be transferred to tenants if the owner is a landlord.
The Rights of a Cyprus Landlord
A Cyprus-based landlord can impose an obligation upon his tenant to pay the communal charges to him, by including it as a term in the tenancy agreement. In such a case, the tenancy agreement does not bind the management committee, to which the landlord remains accountable and if the tenant fails to pay either the rent or the communal charges or violates any other contractual obligation, the landlord is entitled to claim back any outstanding charges through legal proceedings against the tenant.
Statutory Tenancies in Leasing a Cyprus Building
In situations where the property building was completed before December 1999 and are situated in an area controlled by the Rent Control Law, the tenancy becomes statutory upon its termination or expiration and the Rent Control Court has jurisdiction on any matter related to the tenancy. The issue regarding the payment of rents in arrears, communal and sewage charges owed by a statutory tenant is an ‘incidental’ matter and consequently falls under the jurisdiction of the said court.
Cyprus Rent Control Law regarding statutory tenancies holds that:
“The tenant who remains in possession of any residence or shop premises and complies with the terms and conditions of the latest dated rental agreement, is entitled to seek the benefits under it, as long as the terms of the agreement are consistent with the provisions of the relevant Cyprus law.”
Moreover, if any rent or communal charges are in arrears, they are considered an incidental or supplementary matter which falls under the jurisdiction of the court.
The term communal charges refer to the use of the communal areas of the premises by the tenant including:
- Water & electricity supply.
- The cleaning & maintenance of the communal areas of the building.
- The maintenance of the external building areas including street cleaning and sewage.
- Any other services necessary for the general upkeep of the building.
Eltoma Property have legal experts on hand to provide assistance with any property or land matters in Cyprus. Contact us for more information.