What happens when a statutory tenant ‘systematically delays’ payment of rent but eventually pays the full amount owed?


In general

Quite often a statutory tenant (the ‘tenant’), the artificial creature created by the Rent Control Law Act of 1983 (23/1983) (the ‘Law’) may abuse its protection provided under the Law, in order to avoid payment of the rent duly owed. What eventually happens is that the tenant is served with the necessary demand notice, which he or she often disregards, and after the required period of 21 days has elapsed according to Article 11(1)a of the Law, the owner proceeds with the lawful submission of an application for eviction.

The proviso and its reasoning

However, the Law provides under Article 11 (1) (a) and the second proviso, that no order for eviction will be made provided that the tenant proceeds with payment of the full amount within 14 days from the service of the application unless the tenant does not systematically pay the rent duly owed throughout the tenancy period. The reasoning behind this reservation is the relative positioning of the parties i.e. the favourable position of an owner in juxtaposition to the weak position of the tenant. The Law provides for this extra protection in order to strike a balance between the difference in positioning but not without establishing rules for using such provisions against the true spirit and purpose of the Law.

The proviso within

The second proviso differentiates between two different scenarios. The first scenario is created by the payment of the rent duly owed within the period of 14 days from service of the application for eviction. On this occasion, provided the tenant is considered to be a prompt payer throughout the tenancy period, no order for eviction will be made. The second scenario is created only in case the tenant has paid the full amount duly owed but has omitted to systematically pay the rent throughout the tenancy period. Once this scenario is created the secondary proviso is activated and the owner is able to proceed to an eviction despite the tenant’s full payment. Obviously, each case will be judged on its own facts and the analogy between the systematic payment and the length of the tenancy period will need to be taken to account. Nevertheless, the legislator has once more proved that balance exists within the legislation and every word has its own meaning and purpose.

The content of this article is valid as at the date of its first publication. It is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter and does not constitute legal advice. We recommend that you seek professional advice on your specific matter before acting on any information provided. For further information or advice, please contact Agis Charalambous, Associate at agis.charalambous@kyprianou.com