Does it matter if outsiders can’t afford to rent?

Chris Grech CEO of Dhalia said – “I don’t think our social conscience should prick us too much if outsiders coming here can’t afford to rent.
They can always leave. I’m talking only about non-residents here… outsiders who come here to work; not Maltese citizens who have nowhere else to go………’”

Prof Edward Scicluna, Finance minister says that there is no rent crisis as 80% of people in Malta are homeowners. (mainly Maltese of course)

Are you tired of feeling like a second class citizen, with no voice? we work for wages, put in the same hours, pay the same taxes and social security, yet when things go wrong, we have no voice.

Tired of always being seen as the “Rich” foreigner?

Tired of asking, “How much?” only to find the price doubles when the foreigner asks?

We contribute to this Island and its Economy and should never have to hear “go back to your own country” when we voice our opinion/discontent. 

If like me you form part of the many “outsiders” renting on this Island who are finding it difficult to pay the spiralling rent then join us in this future initiative by downing tools for 24 hours and show the Government that We do matter.

To show your support please take a selfie with the “I Matter” icon visible on your body and post it in the newly created Facebook group called I Matter” by clicking here

(print and cut the icon out from the top of this article)

Make Your Voice Heard!!!

If you want to become involved in any way please leave your details below;

The Facebook groups Up in Arms Malta and Rental Rip-off Malta have worked together on this article and future initiative.

To regulate or not to regulate?

The property rental market in Malta has seen massive hikes in prices in the last 4 years forcing people to leave the Island after contributing to the economy through hard work. Homelessness increasing because people can no longer manage. People turning up at Mount Carmel Hospital for shelter. There is the rent subsidy, recently doubled, that no doubt has helped in some cases.

Despite all this the rental prices have continued to rise like a hot air balloon and wages are not keeping up.

Chris Grech CEO of Dhalia said – “I don’t think our social conscience should prick us too much if outsiders coming here can’t afford to rent.
They can always leave. I’m talking only about non-residents here… outsiders who come here to work; not Maltese citizens who have nowhere else to go………’”

Prof Edward Scicluna, Finance minister says that there is no rent crisis as 80% of people in Malta are homeowners. (mainly Maltese of course)

 

 

The 20% of us who have to rent in an uncontrolled expensive way contribute enormously to this economy and deserve better!

There are examples from other European countries such as Luxembourg where the annual rental revenues of a property should not exceed 5 percent of what was paid for it. See the original source here.

If you believe there is in fact a rent crisis then sign and share the petition for rent regulation in Malta. At 1000 signatures it will be submitted to Government.

You can sign the petition here.

Moving South?

With rents extortionate  in the central and northern regions of Malta have you ever considered moving South? 

The Cottonera region comprises of what is known as the three cities; Cospicua (aka Bormla), Vittoriosa (aka Birgu) and Senglea(aka L’Isla). Having your own transport is obviously the best solution but the area is well served by the buses namely routes 1,2,3 and 4.  For example I live in Bormla and with using the tallinja app I can be in Valletta in 30 minutes from leaving the house.

The area is steeped in history dating back to 1565 and the great siege by the Turkish and of course more recently in WWII when the area became the most heavily bombed area in Malta that led to large-scale reconstruction in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

Bormla is currently experiencing a renaissance with the American University Of Malta having a Campus nearly completed. This has led to new cafe’s opening and even garages being converted into bedsits for students. Inevitably the arrival of students will raise rents but will add vibrancy to the area. But the whole area of the Three cities is quite large (if you include Kalkara) so you would surely find something to rent which is more reasonably priced and in an area that is really still old Malta.

The people of this area can only be described as ” a bit rough around the edges” but you will quickly find that they have hearts of gold and will help you the best they can if asked. You may need to try to speak a bit of Maltese as this is no Sliema and in my mind this is the beauty of the place. Relatively unspoilt so far.

Bormla is served by what I can only describe as the best polyclinic I have experienced in my 6 years in Malta. You can see a Doctor up until 7pm which would fit in nicely with many people’s work schedules. Then there is always Saturday mornings as well.

As in other parts of Malta residents need to understand the need to put rubbish in bins and dispose of it in the correct manner but with the improvements being made in this area eventually residents will have more civic pride one hopes.

For night-time entertainment there is always Birgu which is a short walk away and is served by many restaurants and bars surrounded by buildings of outstanding architecture. Then of course there is Senglea and Kalakara which means you are spoilt for choice in “old Malta” style.

So if you are despairing of high rents in other areas or just fed up living in what could be any other place in Europe it would be worth researching the Cottonera region. You may find that you could afford to live on your own rather than sharing and connectivity with the rest of Malta is good. There is also a ferry service from Bormla to Valletta that you can also use your tallinja card on.

If you need any advice on moving to this area then please feel free to contact me.

The all important contract

In Malta there is no standard contract for renting a property but there are certain pieces of information that it should contain. 

Lets also not forget that there should be an inventory of what the flat contains signed at the same time as the contract. You maybe excited about finding your new home but do not rush this part as you may very well regret it at a later date. Watch out for phrases in it you may not understand (Tale Quale’ – as seen, for example).

“The Maltese government applies a tax of 15% on rental income, that is valid for residential contracts only. The tax, introduced in January 2014, is paid by the lessor.” This means that the landlord pays it and not the tenant so if there is a phrase in the contract stating the tenant is liable then simply do not sign it.

Here is a link to some more useful contract information Contracts in Malta

To be super sure the contract is 100% legal then get it witnessed by a notary once both parties are happy with it.

Lets get to the 5 pieces of information that every contract in Malta should contain;

  1. Property Leased
  2. Agreed use
  3. Duration of lease
  4. Whether lease is extendable
  5. Amount of rent to be paid

contract_salesman_signature_md_wm

There are other pieces that you may also want to consider having added to the contract for your own protection;

  • Utilities to be paid on residential rate via landlord signing form H
  • Agreed termination notice – 2 months Landlord, 1 month tenant
  • Deposit paid is clearly stated as returnable at end of tenancy with allowance for damage or breakages.

Having this form signed by the landlord will mean that you get the residential rate and save between 43 and 103.4% on your water and electricity.

Print your copy of form H here and get the landlord to sign it at the same time as the contract.

Hard work at the contract stage will save you some potential heart ache when you come to the end of your tenancy.   Feel free to use the contact form below if you need advice.

 

 

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