John and Vanessa want to sign a tenancy agreement for the house they want to rent. They are unsure how to make sure the agreement will be valid. In particular, they are want to know if the tenancy agreements needs to be in writing and whether it should be registered somewhere.
Based on this module they have learned that as a general rule, pursuant to the provisions of Cap. 149, formality is not a prerequisite for the conclusion of the contracts, which can, therefore, be validly concluded either in written, orally or following a certain behaviour of the parties. Overall, they know that for a contract to be valid there needs to be an offer (made by the tenant to rent the house for a certain amount) which needs to be accepted, while both parties need to offer consideration (i.e. sustain mutual detriment, namely the tenant has to pay and the landlord has to provide use of the premises).
However, in the specific case of lease agreements, pursuant to the provision of art. 77 (1) Cap. 149, if the tenancy refers to an immovable and is concluded for a term exceeding one year, then it should be executed in writing with the presence of two witnesses, otherwise the contract is void (i.e. not valid).
Furthermore, John and Vanessa wonder what terms should be included in the contract. John and Vanessa have learned that there is no special regulation regarding the mandatory minimum requirements of what needs to be stated in a tenancy contract. However, from the nature of the tenancy agreement as a contract by virtue of which one contracting party (landlord) assigns the other (tenant) the absolute use of a property for a certain period of time, while the tenant undertakes to pay the rent agreed, the following essential elements stem:
- Leasehold: The object of a tenancy contract is to hand over the use of a property, defined as the “leasehold”.
- Rent: Rent is the fee owed by the tenant to the landlord for use of the leasehold.
- Agreement to hand over the exclusive use of the dwelling
- Certain time period
STORY FOR EMPLOYMENT LAW
Vanessa is employed by a local University to teach English language. She wants to know if the legislation provides for a minimum wage. As Vanessa has learned from this Chapter, only a few occupations in Cyprus fall under the minimum wage act (shop assistants, clerks, child-care workers (assistant baby and child minders), personal care workers (nursing assistants, security guards, and cleaners of business/corporate premises). The minimum monthly wage for such professions was set in 2012 at €870 upon recruitment, while the minimum monthly wage for employees, who have completed a six month period of employment at the same employer, was revised to €924. The minimum wage for security guards was revised to an hourly rate of €4,90 and upon completion of a six month period of employment at the same employer is increased to €5,20. Although, the above minimum wage does not apply for Vanessa’s employment, nonetheless Vanessa knows to start negotiations from this amount.
Finally, Vanessa and the University orally agree to Vanessa’s employment. Vanessa wonders does she need to ask for a written contract?
John advises her that as per the Bright textbook, the employer is obliged to inform the employee in writing about the conditions of employment. Such written information should at least cover the following:
- The identification particulars of the employer and the employee;
- The place of work of the employee and the registered place of the business or the employer’s home address;
- The title or specific job, grade and category of the work of the employee, as well as the object of his work;
- The date of commencement of the employment contract or relationship and its expected duration, in the case of fixed-term work;
- Reference to any collective agreement applicable to the terms and/or conditions of the employees’ employment.
In addition, the following information, for which written reference may be made to the respective law or collective agreement, if any, should be given:
- The length of the period of paid annual leave to which the employee is entitled and the manner and time of granting such leave;
- The length of the period of notice to be observed by the employer and the employee in case of termination of the employment contract or relationship;
- All the components of the employee’s remuneration and the frequency of its payment;
- The length of the employees’ normal working day or week.
- None of the above-mentioned conditions of employment can be less favourable to the employee concerned than those provided for by the respective legislation.
A sample employment contract can be found herein. http://www.cypruslegalanswers.com/modules/modListDocuments/uploadFiles/miscFiles/1327478916-ENG%20General%20Employment%20Agreement.pdf