During Malta’s budget speech held on the 9th October 2017, the Finance Minister Edward Scicluna announced that a White Paper aimed at regulating the rental property market would be issued in the coming weeks.
all rental agreements will have to be registered … agreements must be properly drafted with the lease term and rental rates for the duration of the lease specified
Accordingly, the government is proposing that all rental agreements will have to be registered. Moreover no short-cuts will be allowed such that the agreements must be properly drafted with the lease term and rental rates for the duration of the lease specified. Professor Scicluna also indicated that the rent laws will be reviewed in such a way that the eviction of defaulting tenants will be facilitated, particularly in connection with the failure to pay the rent when due. Currently, the court process to evict defaulting tenants is somewhat cumbersome and lengthy and can last up to two years. The intention is to reduce the time-frame and enable landlords to evict tenants and claim their property back within a maximum period of six months. The White Paper will propose that landlords will not be able to avail of the protection afforded by rent laws if they fail to register rental agreements.
During the budget speech it was also confirmed that the government will retain the First Time Buyers’ scheme, through which purchasers acquiring a property as their first home receive up to €5,000 in assistance. The government will also introduce a Second Property Buyers’ Scheme, where assistance of up to €3,000 will be given to those who sell their first home to buy another one. The Second Property Buyers’ Scheme is intended to benefit families who outgrow their first residential property and elderly persons whose first home becomes too large.