Top Mistakes when renting in Malta

Top Mistakes When Renting in Malta


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Top Tips When Renting in Malta

Example of a Maltese Terraced HouseRenting an apartment or house in Malta is a relatively straightforward process and regardless of nationality or age, as long as you have the ability to pay the rental costs and bills, you can legally and easily rent property in Malta. You’ll take a look at the property and make an offer if you like it. It’s temporary right? So no need to take too much time thinking about the commitment! However, landlords have become a lot more cautious since the implementation of the Private Residential Leases Act (Cap. 604 of the Laws of Malta) as this tends to swing in favour of tenants over landlords. The rental market in Malta can be overwhelming, due to the never-ending supply of properties available for residential lease. 

Here are some tips when looking to rent an apartment or property in Malta

1. Can I rent any type of property?

Whether it’s a teeny-tiny compact studio apartment, a shared house, or a huge modern villa with landscaped gardens and swimming pools, there is no limit as to what you can rent on this stunning island. There aren’t any specific restrictions, provided you have the means to cover the costs that come with it. Many agencies have a vast database, so get in touch and start looking at whatever your budget allows. 

2. What are rental prices like in Malta?

The prices of properties in Malta vary to quite an extent, mostly depending on size and location. For example, renting an average 1 bedroom apartment in hot locations like Sliema or St. Julian’s could for anything between €700 - €1000, however, you could also get a 2 bedroom flat in Swieqi or Ibrag for the same price. A large seafront three bedroom apartment in Sliema could set you back anywhere between €2000 - €5000 for something modern, spacious and boasting gorgeous sea views, but a semi-detached villa in Madliena or Bahar Ic-Caghaq would go for the same price! Further inland, in areas like Mosta, Naxxar and Gharghur, you could get a beautiful house of character with outdoor space for less than the asking price of a seafront flat.

3. Should I be honest when I’m viewing properties?

You’d unlikely ever admit that you’ll be hosting 3am parties with tonnes of people, or that you plan to throw out things that you dislike within the property, but every once in a while, as the saying goes, ‘some things are better left unsaid’! Avoid going into detail about how you hate the decor the landlord has chosen, or that your maximum budget is of ‘X’ amount or how much you’d love to have pets around! Although some of this information can be disclosed to the Estate Agent (if you have one), it’s best to err on the side of caution and not divulge everything right off the bat. 

4. What should the contract entail?

You should ensure that the contract contains all obligatory clauses. All residential private lease contracts must include the necessary clauses or will be considered null and void if absent and the formal registration will not be allowed. These are:

  • The tenement to be leased
  • The agreed use of the tenement
  • The period of the lease
  • Whether an extension to the lease will be allowed and how this is to be communicated
  • The amount of rent to be paid and how this will be effected (bank transfer, cash, specific date etc.)
  • The amount of the security deposit (from the Lessee)
  • An inventory, signed and dated, stating both the condition and list of furniture and fittings

5. Can landlords raise the rent price whenever they want?

The new Act does not directly impact prices, however, it does impose a cap on them. This can be done strictly once a year and only if it is agreed upon within the contract. A landlord is entitled to increase the rental amount by a maximum of 5% year on year which only applies to contracts of longer than 1 year and cannot exceed these annual variations. 

6. Can landlords just decide to kick tenants out?

Through the newly implemented rental reform, a landlord simply cannot wake up one day and demand you leave the property. There is a procedure in place that serves to protect the tenant/s from this type of eviction. They will have to be advised at least 3 months in advance as to whether the landlord has any intention not to extend the contract. If the landlord fails to provide this notice in writing, then the contract is automatically extended for the period stated on the initial contract.

7. Who needs to register the rental contract?

Under the lease Act and as from the 1st of January 2020, all rental contracts which are for residential purposes must be registered with the Housing Authority. The landlord is responsible for doing so within the first 10 days from the lease commencement and must be done online at www.rentregistration.gov.mt

As a general rule, keep in mind the following:

  • If an agency is involved - fees are owed by both the Lessor and the Lessee. Usually this is half the first months’ deposit from either party. 
  • Ensure that the contract has actually been registered by the landlord! This serves to protect the tenants if issues arise further down the line. 
  • Read the contract carefully! Make sure the salient points and ‘must-have’ clauses are stated. 

FAQ

This would have to be agreed upon directly with the owner. When discussing the property for rent with him/ her, then you can agree to remove any items you do not wish to have, and possibly bring in your own. However, if there are any removal costs etc then the burden may fall upon the tenant. The landlord may not have a place to store the unwanted furniture, so it all depends on what agreement you may reach.
Again, this would need to be negotiated. It all depends on how willing the landlord is in allowing you to do certain things. He/ She may allow you to do whatever you want, provided that the rental property is returned to the owner in the same state as it was given to you (meaning that you may have to fix the holes and walls once your tenancy is up).
This certainly depends on the state in which the property is at the start of the tenancy. Always give it back clean! That would be the number one priority - landlords hate finding that their property has been left dirty. At the start of a rental agreement, an inventory of items should be taken. To add to this, go through these items carefully and advise the landlord of anything you see that is broken/ not functioning well. Keep a documented account throughout - if something breaks, then advise the landlord immediately. Small expenses are usually burdened by the tenants (for example, replacing light bulbs, unclogging a blocked sink etc.). Larger damages, such structural issues, are to be done by the landlord. Either way, monitor these and keep your landlord well-informed - they will appreciate the communication!

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