Renting property in Cyprus
Renting property in Cyprus guide: professionals you need, legal rules, documentation, banks and taxation. Your step-by-step look at all stages of renting – from landlords to tenants, residential property to Airbnb and from contract drafts to rental etiquette.
For both landlords and tenants
Rent Control Law 1983 (N. 23/1983), with amendments.
This law covers all areas which are subject to rent control. The list of these areas can be found in the Table (Πίνακας) of the Law, in paragraph 3. The areas which are not subject to control are the tourist areas, airport and port areas and areas of government land.
To be under rent control, a property must have been constructed and made available for rent by 31 December 1999.
The Table for rent control areas is found in the Council of Ministers Order 519/2007. Please also consult the relevant municipality website for details, clarifications or additional information. Order 519/2007 can be accessed in a PDF form at www.cylaw.org.
The tenancies for areas not subject to control are contractual tenancies; they are entirely governed by the agreement the landlord and tenant will make and sign. It is possible to renew a contractual tenancy.
Note that all tenancies under 6 months are contractual tenancies.
The tenancies under Rent Control are also governed by a contract (the agreement signed by the landlord and tenant). However, the Rent Control law applies as well.
Things to make clear in a tenancy agreement
- The amount of rent as well as the method and time of payment.
- Duration (how long?).
- Whether it can be renewed or extended.
- Deposit and under what circumstances the landlord can keep it.
- Which utilities will be included.
- If it is an apartment, whether communal expenses will be included.
- Repairs: it is common practice in Cyprus for the landlord to do the repairs while the tenant will fix any damage they will cause. The landlord and tenant can make different arrangements if they want. They must put these arrangements in the contract.
- Insurance: The landlord and tenant must agree on insurance issues.
- Whether the landlord can ask for a larger rent and when (rent can be increased in Cyprus after 22 April 2023, see below).
- Must notify the buyer if they have an interest in the land. The notification must be in writing.
- Various issues like pets, available parking, and whether minor changes are allowed.
- State the condition of the property clearly, perhaps in an Appendix. Taking pictures of the place right before or on the day you move in might be a good idea.
- The notice period.
- Visits from the landlord. A landlord cannot enter the tenant’s home without permission. It might be a good idea to discuss when the landlord can visit. The visits from the landlord cannot be too frequent. Usually, it is twice a year.
When is it possible to evict a tenant in Cyprus?
Recently, some changes were made concerning Cyprus law.
For the areas covered by Rent Control, here is what happens:
If the tenancy agreement expires, but the tenant continues to pay the rent, he/she cannot be evicted except in very specific circumstances.
The first of these circumstances is if the tenant does not pay the rent. In such a case, what will happen is:
- The landlord will give them notice.
- The tenant has 21 days to pay. Then, the landlord can file a written notice and apply for eviction.
- The tenant can repay the rent to the Court, get a court accounting office receipt, and answer the landlord’s application.
- Within 3 days, the Court Secretary will reject or approve the eviction application.
- If an eviction order is made, the tenant will be given 90 days to leave the property.
The other circumstances under which a tenant may be evicted are:
- The tenant has not paid the rent for 21 days after they were given notice to pay.
- The landlord needs the house for themselves, family members, or dependent parents.
- The landlord will do one of the following: demolish and reconstruct or make substantial alterations.
- The tenant is causing nuisance, using the property for illegal/immoral purposes, or has damaged the property by destructive acts or negligence.
Increase in rent
Landlords have the right to request a rent increase of up to 6% from their tenants between 22 April 2023 and 21 April 2025. The increase exceeding 6% will contradict the Rent Control Law. In such a case, tenants can refuse the rise if they have occupied the property for at least two years. If the tenant refuses, the landlord can file a claim with the Rent Disputes Court to determine a fair rental value for the property. Similarly, tenants can file a claim with the Rent Disputes Court if they believe the rent is significantly higher than the market price. During the proceedings, the Rent Disputes Court will consider various factors like the age, specifications, size, location, and condition of the property and the facilities provided. However, personal circumstances will not be taken into account.
Bank takes possession of the property
In Cyprus, if a bank takes possession of the property (foreclosure), evicting the tenant is impossible. The tenancy continues as usual.
The rule is the same for sub-tenancies.
For the landlord
Documents you need
It is a good idea to put together a set which will include a document:
- Confirming ownership (for example, a title deed).
- ID (passport or ID card).
- A rental agreement (nevertheless, the landlord and tenant can negotiate some terms anew).
Tax on rent income
The taxes payable on rental income in Cyprus are as follows:
Rental income is added to other income the landlord earns. Then, the tax is charged according to the whole amount. The percentage is from 0-35%, depending on the amount.
Special defence contribution (SDC)
This is a special tax paid in aid of the Cyprus defence. The rate is 2,25%.
SDC is paid by Cyprus tax residents who are also Cyprus-domiciled.
If you are non-domiciled, you are entirely exempt from SDC.
Who is a tax resident of Cyprus? Any person who,
- spends more than 183 days a year in Cyprus territory; or,
- 60 days a year and is not tax resident anywhere else; or,
- does not reside more than 183 days anywhere else and has some tie with Cyprus, including a business.
Who is a non-domiciled tax resident?
A foreigner who moves his tax residency to Cyprus may be considered non-domiciled in Cyprus for a maximum of 17 years.
General health system contribution (GHSC)
The GHSC is charged on rental income at a rate of 2,65%. It applies to all Cyprus tax residents, whether they are domiciled or not.
The rental agreement itself must be stamped. Stamp duty ranges from 0-2% and is charged only once.
The landlord will not pay VAT for residential property, which the tenant will not use for a taxable activity.
When will the landlord have to pay VAT?
- The rental income is more than EUR 15,600 per year; and,
- The renting started after 17 November 2017; and,
- The landlord is leasing the property for the purpose of carrying on taxable activities. For example, the tenant will use the property as a retail shop.
What is a taxable activity?
A taxable activity is any delivery or provision of goods and services. Generally, anything given in return for money, payment, or fees is considered a provision of services. Giving goods or services for free is not a taxable activity.
Applicable law: Articles 7 and 8 VAT law (95(I)/2000), with amendments.
Third country nationals
A third-country national cannot rent out their property in Cyprus.
To own property in Cyprus, a third country national must get permission from the Council of Ministers. The permission usually allows only personal use of the property.
An EU national is allowed to own property for rent in Cyprus.
An Air BnB is a room or apartment rented through the home-sharing site www.airbnb.com, Airbnb.
The establishment and operation of hotels and tourist accommodation Law of 2019 (34(I)/2019) as amended by Law 11(I)2023 on 3 April 2023.
See also: Regulation on the establishment and operation of hotels and tourist accommodation Law of 2019 (34(I)/2019).
To rent out your property as an Air BnB in Cyprus, you need to follow the legislation and the rules of the Cyprus deputy ministry of tourism.
In short, the rules and legislation say the following:Property rented as an Air BnB falls in the “self-service (sharing economy) establishments” category.
Requirements for registration as an Air BnB
The owner must submit to the Deputy Ministry of Tourism an application or solemn declaration that the property has
- A number of minimum requirements are specified in Article 16 A of the legislation, such as the amenities of a private house, tourist-furnished or private flat.
- Been registered at Inland Revenue.
- Been insured for fire, hazards and negligence. Also
- Include a utility bill, title deeds and the planning permission in the application/ solemn declaration.
- If the owner is a company, the company must submit a certificate of incorporation.
If the application or declaration is approved, the Deputy Ministry of Tourism will register the company and give a mark.
The license is valid for 5 years and is renewable.
With the mark and registration number, it is legal to advertise on any Air BnB platform.
The application for registration can only be made online at: www.tourism.gov.cy.
Income from Air BnBs is taxable under the rules explained above.
Some tips (etiquette and others)
- It is better to go through a reliable real estate agent and/or lawyer. The real estate agent will charge an agreed commission, and the lawyer will charge an agreed fee.
- Agree with the tenants when you can visit to check the condition of the property (it is usually no more than twice a year).
- Be available if they need your help, and handle the matter as soon as possible.
- You cannot have spare keys, and you only enter the place with permission from the tenant.
- You can enter to show the property to new tenants or buyers, but only with permission from the tenant and upon giving the tenant reasonable notice.
- Treat the tenants with respect.
- Settle disagreements in a friendly manner.
- Replace the lock for new tenants.
For the etiquette: the entrepreneurship blog Capitalist Creations.
For rules: Cyprus legislation and practice.
For the tenant
Finding a place to rent in Cyprus
It is advisable to go through a reliable real estate agency. The landlord, not yourself, pays the fee for the agency.
If you are a foreigner, or do not know the island very well, it is better to visit a place before deciding to rent there. Note that life in the villages is cheaper (depending on the village) and more relaxed; however, public transport between villages and cities is not frequent. You will need your own car to commute.
Looking for property to rent and what to check
When looking for a place to rent, you might wish to think:
- What can you afford?
- How long? Discuss with the landlord whether the lease will be short, long, or to be extended.
- Which area? The larger the area, the easier it is to find something suitable
- If you have pets, you need to make sure with the landlord that pets will be welcome. Pets are members of the family.
- Is the property safe and fit to live in? Check the kitchen, bathroom, windows, doors, walls, the roof and floors, phone reception and so on.
Ask if the landlord is the owner and if the property is mortgaged.
Source: UK government official website and lawdepot.com.
Registration of tenancy agreements
Lease or tenancy agreements which are longer than 15 years must be registered at the DLS (the district office of the Department of Lands and Surveys). The tenant should do this within three months of signing the lease.
Etiquette for tenants
The Emily Post Institute and other experts on manners and etiquette have the following advice for tenants:
- Follow the rules you agreed on.
- Treat your landlord with respect.
- Pay the rent on time.
- Respond to the landlord’s calls.
- Be on time for meetings.
- Clean up when your landlord is going to visit.
- Treat the house as you would if it was your own.
- Avoid frequent complaints.
- Respect the neighbors.
Moving out of the rented home
According to the expert website yourmove.uk., the process will be smooth if you:
- Make sure you have paid all the rent.
- Leave the property completely clean.
- Check for damage; repair any damage you caused.
- Contact suppliers like electricity to settle the final bill.
- Notify service providers/ suppliers/ utilities (phone, electricity, Internet, &c.).
- Redirect your mail and leave a forwarding address (perhaps with your former landlord or the real estate agent).
- Take photos before you leave.
This Guide provides information and practical advice on renting a property in Cyprus. It is meant to give as accurate a picture as possible of the law and practices concerning landlords and tenants. Every effort is made to keep the information precise and updated. However, this Guide is not responsible for any issues concerning your personal case and circumstances. For advice on your situation and property and on the potential of the real estate market, it is highly recommended that you consult a professional lawyer, a financier and or a real estate agent.
- For both landlords and tenants
- For the landlord
- For the tenant