Renting or Buying Duplexes in Malta

A duplex is an apartment-style property designed for family living. They make excellent homes but also good investment properties with decent rental yields. Here are the key considerations when renting and buying this type of property in Malta.

What is a Duplex?

Duplex in Malta

There is a slight blurring of the lines when it comes to apartments and duplexes and indeed, many people don’t understand the difference. The fact that the latter can be in various configurations adds to the confusion. The most basic definition is that a duplex is two living units attached to each other with two separate entrances. These two units might be side by side such as townhouses or condominiums or above each other, like apartments. Although there is a little flexibility, the term is never applied to three or more connected dwellings. When you look to buy this type of property, what you will find is two floors connected by an internal staircase with one entrance.

Why Buy a Duplex?

There are a few reasons why buying this kind of property makes good sense, especially if it is a first investment in real estate. When you are buying a duplex in the UK, you are buying a multi-family home that is set for two families to live in. In Malta on the other hand, duplexes might appeal to young couples aiming to enlarge their family in the future as the space is greater than that of an apartment.

If you are buying a duplex as a real estate investment, you become a landlord of a property that can accomodate larger families. This in turn, will fetch a higher rental price on the market. You might have various financing options, particularly if you buy one that has sitting tenants. Buying a duplex as a landlord is also a good way to fast track your education in real estate investment. You will learn all about property management as well as tenants and most importantly, the process of buying investment property.

There are also advantages of buying this kind of property to live in. Duplexes are meant for spacious living where members of a numerous or extended family can still have their own private space. If the need arises, this added space makes it possible to accomodate other family members or relatives. This is especially helpful for vulnerable family members who require care but are independent enough to not require a care home.

Differences between Duplex in Malta and in the UK?

When you rent a duplex in the UK, you are renting one half of the property. This may be one side of the property or the upper or lower floor. Usually at the top of the list of criteria for renting is budget. In general, renting this kind of property is more affordable than a single-family rental of a similar age and condition, with the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms and similar square footage. They provide a better home living space than an apartment and provide a better sense of community. With an apartment, you are isolated to your unit and your only access to an outside space may be a balcony. There is a community environment when renting this kind of property, especially if your neighbour is your landlord. There is more interaction than in an apartment and you have a closer relationship with your landlord.

When you rent a duplex in Malta you have the two levels all for yourself, meaning that you have more freedom and privacy than you would find in most of the apartments available on the market.


As with any property, it is a matter of individual circumstance and choice. Having sad that, duplexes in Malta have recently become more popular so one would expect to make a capital gain in the case of resale in the future.

Rental income is an important factor. Duplexes are found across both islands but from a rental point of view, the highest yielding areas are Attard, Balzan, and Lija, according to statistics for 2019. Rental yields for Malta are generally on the increase with an average yield of 4.40%. It is important that when you buy a duplex, you have a good idea of how much you can potentially receive in rental income from both long term lets (tenants) and short term lets (holidaymakers).

This is a service that will incur a cost that you’ll have to offset against your rental income. It is more advantageous to manage the property as a landlord. You might choose a lettings agent to find your tenants initially, but once they move in, there are no major advantages to paying a lettings agent to manage the property going forward.

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