Rental Pitfalls To Avoid
Or as we like to say… “knowledge is power”
This guide is designed to impart knowledge on some of the issues that concern renting here in Malta. By following these guidelines you will hopefully avoid many rental pitfalls that you may read about on Facebook, online forums and in the local press.
Can I just clarify that I have had so far, 3 Landlords, and all 3 have been the most respectful, courteous and helpful individuals, and a privilege to know, and there is no doubt that that is the majority of landlords here in Malta. Unfortunately there is a lot of negative press regarding ‘some’ landlords and of course bad news always travels fast. Keep yourself informed.
- Do not let ‘holiday fever’ cloud your judgement in looking for property. If you are working on the island it is advisable to check out the area you are working in and any public transport links.
- You will not find rental properties less than €300 per month. We have never seen a property advertised that will INCLUDE bills. It rarely if EVER happens. (Unless of course it is a room only share) Be sceptical on what you see on some High Street Agents Web sites. Properties can be advertised on websites that have not been available for years. Rental prices in Malta have risen as sharply as anywhere else in the world.
- Some High Street Agents can show a modern high tech property for €350 per month, of course when you want to view..it’s gone! (Surprise Surprise but they just happen to have another that you can see…which of course is not nearly at the same standard)
- If you have come to Malta from the UK, do not think that the same regulations that govern the Letting Market there – are anyway applicable in Malta. There is very little regulation here for protecting Tenants.
- If you visit a property and the landlord is happy to accept cash from you with no lease then read online forums!! You may be asking for trouble.
- If your landlord will not clarify what Tariff of Electricity you are using then DO NOT sign a lease. Find another property. Read more here.
- For your first lease it is advisable to sign for only 6 months, until you settle and find your bearings. Your landlord will be happy to extend this if you wish to stay, but you are not tied for 12 months if it turns out to be unsuitable.
- When meeting your potential new landlord, any conditions they mention at the viewing put down in writing. Likewise any conditions you may have; agree with the landlord and put in writing.
- Do not accept a tenancy without the landlord guaranteeing an acknowledged receipt for your monthly payments. You want a receipt for every payment you make. If they will not agree DO NOT sign a lease.
- If you are signing a lease with no Notary present; then take along a friend/colleague who will sign as a witness. Keep a copy!
- Return of Deposits. 2nd Most contentious issue with renters. 1st is Electric Tariff. Read more here.
- Consider what Internet Package you need. Providers offer the full Internet/T.V/Phone choice, however – contracts in Malta are for 24 months and cannot be cancelled without paying huge fees. Also cannot be downgraded without paying huge fee. Medium packages with English language channels are awful, do not even consider it. Computers these days let you do everything. You can ‘move’ your package to new address without any restriction..for a fee of course. You can also pay as you go month to month but this is expensive.
- The apartment with communal pool looks fabulous, but your neighbours could be holiday makers in party mode and changing every week.
- High St. Letting Agents work for a commission. Do not assume they will all look after your interests. Arm yourself with knowledge prior to Renting any Property.