In January 2020, Maltese regulations surrounding the rental of properties were updated through the ‘Private Residential Leases Act’. If you’re a landlord navigating the Maltese rental market, the following are the main points regarding what the change in legislation means for you:
1. There are 3 types of private residential lease contracts:
Long lets, short lets or the letting of shared residential spaces.
- Long lets need to last for at least one year and can be renewed for another year, unless the rental agreement states otherwise and unless landlord or tenant sends in a notice of termination. As a landlord, you are obliged to give your tenant 3 months’ notice of contract termination in the form of a registered letter.
On the other hand, the tenant is able to cancel their rent after 6 months with 1 month’s notice if the lease contract is for less than 2 years, after 9 months with 2 months’ notice if the contract is for more than 2 but less than 3 years, and after 12 months with 3 months’ notice if the contract is for longer than 3 years.
- Short lets last for 6 months and are aimed at specific types of renters. In fact, the lease contract needs to specify and prove whether the tenant is: a non-resident worker employed for a maximum period of 6 months, a non-resident student following a course in Malta lasting less than 6 months, non-residents looking to rent short-term, or residents who need a short-term primary residence. Tenants are entitled to terminate their rent agreement after a month as long as they provide the landlord with a week’s prior written notice.
- Shared residential spaces consist of residences with shared facilities such as kitchen, living room and bathroom. The rental agreement of such a space can last for up to 6 months, cannot be renewed, and the tenant can terminate the contract at any time provided that they send in a written notice a week in advance. Pretty straightforward.
2. All private residential lease contracts entered into after 1st January 2020 must be registered.
The renewal of such contracts also needs to be registered, otherwise the contract will be considered null and void! This is also applicable to private residential lease contracts that started after June 1995 but before 1st January 2020 and will still be ongoing on and after June 2021. It’s your responsibility as a landlord to register the lease contract with the Housing Authority within 10 days of the contract’s start date!
3. All private residential lease contracts created after 1st January 2020 need to contain the following:
- Which room or set of rooms within the residence are being rented,
- The agreed on use of this room(s),
- The period for which the room9s) will be rented out,
- Whether and how the lease can be extended at the end of the contract,
- The amount of rent payable and the manner in which it will be paid,
- The amount if the security payment deposited by the renter,
- An inventory outlining the condition of the property, furniture etc.
4. The amount of rent to be paid...
Can be agreed upon between landlord and tenant. Generally, rent is due monthly, unless otherwise agreed by both parties. As a landlord, you’re not allowed to request more than a month’s advance pay on rent. It’s also not allowed to raise the rent more than once a year (if stipulated in the contract) by more than 5% of the original rent amount.
Disclaimer: This entry is intended as an informative guide to landlords looking to rent out their property in Malta. It is by no means final or inclusive of all legal particularities. It is advisable for landlords to seek specialist advice prior to entering into any rental agreements.