Malta has long experienced an astronomical increase in rent overthe past years. With international corporations moving to the Island has led toa large demand and led to increase in rents across the country. To tackle this,the Government of Malta has recently published a property rent reform to caprent increases amongst others.
The Property Rent Reform in Brief
- Home rental contracts will have a 1-year minimumduration
- Rental increases capped at 5% for multi-year contracts
- Landlords will receive tax credits for long-termcontracts
- Every rental contract must be registered
- 3-month notice for tenants
- The housing Authority is tasked to enforce thereform
- Reform expected to come into force in January2020
- Amnesty period for landlords to come in linewith the new regulations
The property rent reform aims at tackling the increase in rents but also to control and minimise the large amount of rental income on the black market. The reform also includes more security and better rights for tenants.
Rental Increases Capped
The reform does not interfere with the market pricingdirectly, so it will still be subject to the free market pricing, but it doesprovide tenants with more security when it comes to rental price increasescapped at 5%. No more rental price surprises for existing tentants.
The minimum contract duration for rentals will now be oneyear. This, together with the new notice periods, will offer tenants a lot moresecurity and stability. If the notice period is not adhered to by the landlord,the contract will automatically renew for another year.
For room renting and short lets, the reform is targetingpersons who do not intent to stay on the Islands for a longer period of timeand introduces there for a six-month contract period.
Every rental contract would now have to be registered withthe Government in order to better control the market and reduce the black rentalmarket. If the contract is not registered there will be no incentivesapplicable.
Furthermore, the contracts must also include a full overviewof the furniture and fixtures in the apartments to make any disputes easier totackle.
The reform introduces a three-month notice period duringwhich they can inform tenants if their contract will be renewed or not. If thetenant is not informed before this time, the contract will be renewedautomatically for another year.
For one-year contracts, the tenant has the right to cancel thecontract after 2 months with a notice period of 1 month. For contracts of 2years and over, the notice period is doubled.
The landlords will be eligible for tax credits of €200for a 2-bedroom apartment, €300 for a 3-bedroom apartment and €400in credit for 4-bedroom apartments and over. Three-year contracts will give anadditional €100in tax credits.
Upon evictions, landlords had to take tenants to court inorder to receive payments due. The reform now introduces the right to demandpayment for the period tenants stayed in the property during the dispute.