Law 66(I)/2012 provides for different limitation periods depending on the nature of the actionable right. It provides for a general limitation period of 10 (ten) years and introduces various limitation periods for specific actionable rights.
In addition an important element of this legislation is that it confers the general power on the Cyprus Courts to extend the limitation period for up to two (2) years in cases where such extension should be just and appropriate under the circumstances.
The general limitation period for civil wrongs is six years.
The limitation period for claims for damages for negligence, nuisance or breach of a statutory duty is three years.
The court has discretion not to follow the limitation provisions in the case of civil wrongs leading to bodily harm or death.
The limitation period is one year in the case of proceedings for defamation or malicious falsehood.
There is a general limitation period of six years for actions based on contractual claims. However, for proceedings related to a contract or to a quasi-contract in relation to an agreed or reasonable remuneration of a lawyer, a doctor, a dentist, an architect, a civil engineer, a contractor or other independent professional, the limitation period is three years.
For loans secured by a mortgage, charge or pledge the limitation period is 12 years.
For loans with no set repayment date and which do not require advance notice as a condition of repayment of the debt, the limitation period commences on the date of service of written notice to the borrower to repay the debt, from or on behalf of the lender (or where there are co-lenders, from or on behalf of one of them).
The limitation period for a) any book debt due to or from a credit institution, b) bills of exchange, c) cheque, d) promissory note, e) bonds in a customary form, and f) any obligation due to or from, amongst others, a credit institution deriving from, among other, hire-purchase, purchase, use of credit card or overdrafts or any other product that from to time is represented as a banking product except loans, shall be 6 years from the day of completion of the basis of the claim.
No action can be commenced questioning the validity of a will, or in relation to the estate of a deceased or any portion or part thereof or bequest, after eight years from the date of death. In the event that the claimant was absent from Cyprus, the limitation period will not be deemed to have been completed unless one year has elapsed from the time that the claimant returned to Cyprus or became aware of the death (or with reasonable diligence could have become aware of the death).
Law 66(I)/2012 also introduces, among others, mechanisms of suspension of the limitation periods and criteria for their computation. According to the provisions of the said legislation the period of limitation will not commence or, if it has commenced, will be suspended, in respect of the following:
- between spouses during their marriage, even though the marriage is later annulled;
- between parents and children while the children are minors;
- between trustees and trust beneficiaries while the trust beneficiaries are minors or, when the beneficiary has not yet been born, until the beneficiary is born and reaches adulthood;
- between executors of a will or administrators of the property of a deceased and heirs and legatees of the deceased while the heirs and legatees are minors; and
- between cohabiting partners during their cohabitation.