Real Estate & Chartered Surveyors
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Property management services for landlords

Leasing property hassle-free for landlords in Cyprus and abroad. Urban Keys takes care of all management aspects: finding tenants, rent collection, maintenance.

Investing in real estate is both stable and rewarding. However, there can also be many challenges with occupying the space, rent collection, and maintenance. Of course it is even more challenging if you are based abroad. Any property investment portfolio must maintain its optimum potential. At Urban Keys Chartered Surveyors our training and experience helps us pin-point properties for refurbishment and improvement, boosting your property's potential and value.

The process is simple. Contact Urban Keys to inspect your property, advise on its current condition, and if any necessary improvements are needed in order to increase the chances of renting it out. Sign a management agreement with Urban Keys to take care of all rental and property maintenance. Urban Keys maintains regular correspondence with the landlord on all essential matters and accounting. Learn more about Urban Keys property management services, contact us.

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)

All you need to know about Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) when letting or selling a property – Informing you of how a property performs in environmental terms.

Residential properties in Cyprus, both new and existing, are required by law to be certified. Since 1st January 2010, landlords have been required to provide Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) to new tenants and buyers as part of the property lettings and selling process. The Cyprus government requires an EPC to be carried out on all homes that are built, sold or rented after January 1st 2010. Each EPC will last for 10 years.

The idea by introducing Energy Performance Certificates is that they will help prospective buyers, tenants, owners and occupiers to easily compare the energy efficiency of one building with another building of the same type, so that they can consider fuel costs and energy efficiency as part of their investment.

Actually, the idea behind the EPC is not just for Cyprus, but a Pan Europe scheme, which has already been implemented in most other countries.

Do I need an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?

It has been a legal requirement, since 1 January 2010, for all landlords (or someone acting on their behalf, such as an estate agent) to have a valid EPC for their property before it can be let or sold. This must be made available free of charge to the potential buyer/renter, and should be when you are first given written information about the home or when you view it, and before you enter into any contract to pay rent to the landlord.

If you are already renting a home on 1 January 2010 and carry on living there after that date, your landlord does not need to provide you with an EPC. An EPC is now also becoming a prerequisite for mortgages being secured and should form part of your checklist.

The point of the EPC is to force properties to become more energy efficient. The EPC and the recommendations that come with it give you important information about your home’s energy efficiency. The certificate will provide you with information about how much it is likely to cost to run the home you are interested in renting or buying. The estimated running costs are based on:

  • standard assumptions about a property, including how many people will live there and how long it is heated each day; and
  • average fuel prices when the EPC was produced – these could be up to 10 years old.

The actual energy used in running a property will of course very much depend on how the property and facilities are used, i.e. how long is the heating or air conditioning turned on, is the water heated to shower, whether lights and appliances are left on, what type of light bulbs and appliances are being used, etc.

What is an EPC?

An EPC assesses and rates the energy performance of a property, from "A" representing the most energy efficient property to "G" representing the least energy efficient property – similar to the energy performance certificates now provided with domestic appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines. An EPC will also show a building's environmental impact by indicating its carbon dioxide emissions. The EPC shows two things about a property:

  • the energy-efficiency rating (this is based on how much the home would cost to run); and
  • the environmental impact rating (this is based on how much carbon dioxide is released into the environment because of the home).

The rating is based on factors such as property age, layout, construction, heating, lighting, and insulation. The ratings are standard so you can compare the energy efficiency of one home easily with another.

A recommendation report forms part of the certificate. This is a list of ways in which the energy efficiency of the home could be improved. This must be carried out by a qualified Domestic Energy Assessor.

How long is an EPC valid for and what does it contain?

A valid EPC will last for 10 years and can be used for multiple tenancies within that period.

The EPC report includes cost-effective recommendations split into low-cost and high-cost improvements. The report also includes more advanced energy improvements that your landlord could make to a home to help it reach the highest possible energy efficiency standards. Many of these improvements are expensive and will take much longer to pay for themselves.

Some cost-effective recommendations for improving the energy efficiency of a home could include:

  • using low-energy light bulbs or perhaps even LED lighting in areas where significant lighting is not required
  • adding insulation, very important for more efficient heating and cooling
  • double glazing windows
  • Sun proof window blinds can significantly help keep a property cool during summer, as can shade from plants
  • Think smart about the use of appliances, such as when cooking or showering in the latter part of the day when water is already heated from the sun and solar panels

In certain circumstances, you may be able to apply for grants to carry out these recommendations, such as solar devices, wind generated power, and water efficient mechanisms, among other.

How do I order an EPC?

Urban Keys are able to arrange for an EPC to be carried out on your behalf by a fully certified advisor/consultant in order to avoid any delays letting your property.

  • The cost of an EPC will be from 200 + VAT
  • Urban Keys will keep a digital copy of the EPC in case it is ever misplaced

For more information on how we can arrange your EPC immediately, call Urban Keys on +357 22 27 00 19.

Leasing property in Cyprus with Urban Keys

1.

Property protection and trust is every landlord's ambition and indeed right.

Urban Keys base its property management services on the UK model – a relatively new initiative here in Cyprus. We ensure your property and inventory is well looked after, saving you time, money, effort and at stress. We protect your investment on all legal grounds, and ensure tenants are fully responsible for any misconduct – both via deposits obtained and if need be, legal action. Our aim is to have you property achieving its true value as an investment.

Our fully qualified team of property managers have years of experience in various markets, including Cyprus, Greece, the UK, France, Eastern Europe and China. This puts the in a good position to understand Cyprus' key feeder markets (tenant clientele), as well as bring back new, innovative and added-value methods to property management.

2.

Real estate technology to make the management process smooth and efficient.

At Urban Keys, we have invested heavily in specific technology to provide our landlord clients and tenants with a transparent and modern service, using real time reporting online. A fully computerised accounting system enables us to collect rents and service charges promptly and efficiently. Income and accounting expenditure statements are prepared regularly, whilst service charge accounts made instantly available.

All in an effort to maintain efficient property management services, as well as full trust with both landlords and tenants. Urban Keys acts as the middle agent to ensure effective relationship management. Our technology enables us to achieve this.

3.

Regular property inspections prior, during and post tenant's occupancy; with action.

All properties under Urban Keys's management service are inspected regularly, ensuring tenants comply with their legal obligations and observe all the lease covenants. Otherwise we take necessary action on your behalf. This is our guarantee.

We carry out day-to-day property maintenance – often the responsibility of the landlord – through reputable contractors under our close supervision. We prepare and implement maintenance plans involving detailed specification, costing and supervising work in progress through completion. As buildings approach obsolescence, we will advise on essential refurbishment and developments. Of course such information is always relayed back to the landlord, with full invoice statements and approvals.

Contact Urban Keys

FAQs for landlords in Cyprus

If any of your questions are not answered here, call Urban Keys on +357 22 27 00 19 or e-mail us directly for a more personalised and confidential response.

Who pays for any necessary repairs and refurbishments to my property?

It depends on the situation as to why these repairs are needed. If they are due to misconduct on the part of the tenant and against their tenancy agreement, then they will be covered first by the deposit, then legally sourced by tenant.

If it is due to "fair wear and tear" then as per legal requirements in Cyprus – and indeed most other property markets in Europe – it is the landlord's responsibility to cover such expenses. Of course it is also very much in your interest to do so, as it significantly increases the chances of leasing the property again, and certainly increases the value of your property. As fully certified (and experienced) property valuers and building surveyors, Urban Keys can provide professional and worthwhile advice accordingly.

If we are managing your property, we will take care we carry out all property maintenance using reputable contractors under our close supervision. We prepare and implement maintenance plans involving detailed specification, costing and supervising work in progress through completion. Such information is always relayed back to the landlord, with full invoice statements and approvals sent.

Is it better to rent my property furnished or unfurnished?

Furnished properties no doubt obtain higher rental value then if the same property was unfurnished.

However, what you must also consider is that if you rent your property furnished and stipulated on the rental agreement as such, then it is also your legal obligation to maintain this rental agreement. That is, furniture must also be maintained to a fair level state, i.e. if the fridge breaks down, then you must fix it or replace it (of course you can not expect the tenant to go out and buy one fridge when they specifically rented a furnished property). Some landlords sign a non-furnished rental agreement, but offer any 'unwanted' furniture behind for the tenant to utilise.

So it really depends on your situation and property. If you have a modern property, targeted to higher-end clientele, then it might make sense to also furnish it. This way, your options for finding renters are significantly increased (as is the price), as you can now target foreigners and expats here for business for instance.

You might also make the final decision once you have found the tenant, and base it on their situation.

Am I allowed to increase the value of my rent? And if so, how often or by how much?

As per Cyprus Rent Control Law, after the first tenancy has expired or been terminated, the law allows for an agreed increase of maximum 14% of the existing rent, but not before the lapse of two years from the date of the last application, or the date of the last voluntary increase.

In case of refusal by the tenant, the Rent Control Courts will determine a 'reasonable rent,' taking into account the opinion of the official valuer, and factors such as age, dimensions, location and condition. A rent control tribunal is composed of a president (who is a judicial officer) and two lay members, representing the tenants and the landlords.

If the tenant moves out and the property goes back on the free market then you are entitled to set a new price.

What are the conditions for evicting a tenant?

No doubt, the laws in Cyprus are pro-tenant. Eviction of tenants in Cyprus is relatively difficult. The Rent Control Law introduced the concept of the 'statutory tenant.' This is the person who at the expiration of the first tenancy, in case of a property within the ambit of the Rent Control Law, remains in possession of the premises. A statutory tenant cannot be evicted except in three cases:

  • Where the tenant failed to pay the rent
  • Where the landlord needs a house for their own living purposes or for members of his/her family or dependent parents
  • Where the landlord intends to demolish and reconstruct the house, or to effect such substantial alteration or reconstruction as to render the recovery of possession of the premises absolutely necessary

Even in such cases, the Rent Control Court may order the landlord to grant the tenant in lieu of damages, the right to a new tenancy after the reconstruction. Finally, the Court may award damages equal to 9-18 months rent, and/or damages for loss of goodwill of a business.

What is the norm with regards to allowing pets in leased property?

Each landlord is different and sets their own rules regarding this matter, in the process considering that they might loose a potential tenant (and potentially a very good tenant) if they refuse pets, or might bring greater damage to their property with a pet. What must also be considered is a building's overall agreement. Some apartments adore not allow pets in the building, so check with your superintended.

What legal support can Urban Keys provide landlords with tenant disputes?

As fully qualified and certified real estate agents, Urban Keys is in a position to advice clients on associated Landlord & Tenant Act matters. Thus, backed by legal grounds is able to provide a complete real estate service of the highest calibre. The specialist field of rent reviews, lease renewals and lease terms and contracts is handled by an experienced team of chartered surveyors, who are also well versed in complex case and statute law which surround rent reviews and lease renewals. Our team of professionals have extensive experience in the following areas.

  • Independent expert determinations
  • Court hearings
  • Tenant disputes and resolution
  • Acting as expert witness on behalf of the court and both Landlords and Tenants.

How does Urban Keys help landlords find tenants?

Essentially, this is our primary service. To help you occupy your property investment with the right tenant and receive revenue. The key to Urban Keys's ability to find tenants in Cyprus is based on the following:

  • access to an extensive distribution channel, namely Urban Keys online
  • Positive word-of-mouth, with referrals from existing clients
  • Dynamic rental sales team, always out in the field and always proactive
  • Multilingual rental sales team, therefore able to effectively reach international markets (fluent in English, Greek, French, Russian and Chinese-Mandarin)
  • Established network contacts in Cyprus and abroad

Am I allowed to use other real estate agents to rent my property; or rent it out myself?

Yes you are. This is common practice in Cyprus as it tends to increase your channels of distribution.

Unless you sign an exclusivity agreement with Urban Keys. Exclusivity agreements are also very beneficial to landlords. They usually last for a short period (4-8 months), and prevent the landlord from using another real estate service during this time. The benefit of such an agreement is that it encourages Urban Keys to prioritise and focus on renting out your property first as opposed to other properties where many agents have access. Your property is considered to be a part of the agent's exclusive portfolio and a more efficient selling process.

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