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Hints & Tips for considering when looking to rent property on Malta.

Nange :

We have a big Britta filter in the kitchen. Makes more sense than buying bottled all the time (and all that plastic-ugh). I always carry a stainless steel beverage holder when I go out, filled with water, as restaurants here won't serve tap water. In the summer I'll have to switch to my backpacking water holder!

As far as I'm aware the inside surface of a "plastic" bottle or "aluminium" can etc is coated with some material, so you're never drinking from a plastic etc. Correct me if I'm wrong.

My advice for finding a place:

Go into the local shops and bars of the area you like and ask the staff if they know anyone who is renting out their property. That's how I found mine. Within 2 mins of asking, the landlady came over and showed me her flat. You avoid paying ridiculous agent fees and inflated prices. Malta Park is good, but you'll find many are being pushed by agents.

ævintýri :

My advice for finding a place:

Go into the local shops and bars of the area you like and ask the staff if they know anyone who is renting out their property. That's how I found mine. Within 2 mins of asking, the landlady came over and showed me her flat. You avoid paying ridiculous agent fees and inflated prices. Malta Park is good, but you'll find many are being pushed by agents.

is your landlady offering you the correct rate of electricity ? did they fill in form h?

whilst im sure you might think agent fees to be rediculous some agents actually work hard to get your best interests and make sure your not going to be ripped off ..

ævintýri :

My advice for finding a place:

Go into the local shops and bars of the area you like and ask the staff if they know anyone who is renting out their property. That's how I found mine. Within 2 mins of asking, the landlady came over and showed me her flat. You avoid paying ridiculous agent fees and inflated prices. Malta Park is good, but you'll find many are being pushed by agents.

The fees charged by agents here are nothing compared with renting a property in the UK where you will be charged for a credit check, admin' fees and any other fees the agent can dream up. We paid in excess of £300 fees whenever we rented in the UK.
Also I would far rather use a good, genuine agent here than rely on the vague promises of an unknown landlord introduced to me by a third party I also don't know!

Ray

I agree with Ray and Rob. Agents need to get paid for their work, too, and agent's fees are very reasonable in Malta (half a month's rent), in other countries you pay up to 3 months' rent... That said, as with anything in life, there are of course "good" and "bad" agents, and while some will definitely bend over backwards to find you a good place and negotiate with the landlord if necessary, others don't really "work" for their money.

Hi everyone.

Can you confirm that the process of securing a property is similar to the UK, i.e. we can go over in advance, view some potential properties that will be available from our dates, pick the one we like and arrange to move in when it becomes available?

I read a previous comment about turning up in Malta, staying in a hotel and being taken around to view available properties, then just moving in to what is available. Not keen to do that at I'd like to know where we are moving to and make arrangements for shipping our possessions etc. Plus unfortunately we will be moving at peak time (July) so there may be more limited availability.

So far I've been in touch with a couple of agents who seems to have brushed off giving an answer to this. They are more keen to promise that they will find something for us nearer the time. Thanks again

In Malta unless you start the contract the landlords won't hold it property goes within 24 hours some times less - I would advise you to get in touch because we do relocations and we have many clients who come and do a reccie - put a deposit down and then go back to uk and have somewhere to move too - some ll would expect half rent some won't - but renting here is nothing like renting in the uk

I agree with Rob. We were looking for apartments in February, we would have liked to rent from May, but all agents and owners we spoke to said rent from now or come again to look for something in May when you actually need it.. so in the end we rented from Feb, which means paying rent for 2 months without actually being in Malta, but we need to  have the flat when we come in May.. In addition, in high season some owners will only do short lets as they can charge twice or more the price...

We are planning to go out on a recce about 3 weeks before we move over, but paying rent for 3 weeks for nothing seems so harsh! Or alternatively moving over without somewhere to live (starting work a few days later) seems stressful! Oh dear, pass the wine...

I believe if it's just 3 weeks and you're renting for longer (12 months) the owner might be willing to hold the flat for you for that time - provided you have paid the deposit and probably the rent for the first month. If you're using an agent  they might assist you with negotiating that, too.

On any case good luck
Bernie

Feline - please get in touch because we can help you with this and at least your being reasonable of doing a reccie only 3 weeks upfront  - if nesscary we can go visit Propeties you like and then video it and arrange everything before you come over too so you don't have to feel your rushed into anything - we have a number of options available to you as we are used to dealing with clients coming from the uk  I'll pm you our advice group if you want

Thanks robpw2. The company I'm going to work for are supposed to be helping with the relocation, I just didn't want to bombard them with questions when I've only just signed the contract :D

If we decide we need additional help I'll def get in touch. Thanks

It can indeed be a pain in the ass to find an apartment in Malta, especially now during summer. I am arriving in one month, for a rather short stay (3 months only) and I still haven't found anything affordable.. So if anyone knows something, pleeeeeease, any advice would be appreciated ;)

When we were first looking to move here we found a place in December 2012 and signed a contract which was to rent a property from 1st March 2013, so landlords will do it.
Probably more likely from a professional landlord through a reputable agent than with an unknown through an ad in a window or Maltapark.

PS.  To miss_chaa, this is not summer in Malta, the Maltese are still wearing boots and fur coats

Ray

Hi we have just had a electric and water meter put in the apartment , any idear if this is good or bad

As you have no takers yet.
I would think this could be a good thing.  I assume you are renting and the landlord has had them fitted. You will now know what you are using and therefore what you should be paying.
However, if you are renting and the services are included in the rent then the landlord probably thinks he is not charging enough for these services and having meters fitted will enable him to charge the correct amount, probably with a bit of profit on top.
If, however, you will be paying the service supply company directly then you will again be only paying for what you use. This would probably be the best scenario.

Ray

Hey guys!
Thanks a lot for this thread and valuable info :)

Please, could someone advise on what should I expect to pay from first month of rental?  If I'm not mistaken :
1- Deposit for landlord (one month rent)
2- Agent' fee (50% of one month's rent)

Is it common to pay other deposits towards the water & electricity?
Should I also consider paying VAT for that?

Thank you!

When we moved in this year in February, we had to pay agent's fee (50% of rent - depending on how "correct" the agent is, VAT might be added, ours didn't add VAT), 1 month's rent as a deposit, 1 month's rent + 50 EUR for bills (water & electricity) in advance; all in cash. No VAT. We got a handwritten receipt (from the agent). We chose to pay the monthly rent plus bills via bank transfer (from our foreign bank, as we don't have a Maltese bank account), but I know of others who pay in cash every month.

Thanks a lot for quick response bernie_iris_fabian_david !
Crystal clear. I agree that it's preferable to pay monthly rent via bank transfer. visible and efficient :)

Thanks very usefull post!

redders_61 :

i can personally recommend Simon Mamo estate agents. I was in email and text contact for 6 months before I moved out. I was met at the airport, taken to hotel and picked up next morning. went around Malta looking at various properties available that met my budget and criteria. found this one on the same day, next day picked up brought here again and signed the lease. it isn't like the UK as in agents checking property and visiting etc. they are not responsible for the property and you don't pay your rent to them. Letting agents in the UK are more of a rip off than out here, in my view. with fees etc so much so they are being regulated for the first time under the auspices of the FSA.

I used Simon Mamo and I do not recommend them.

We used Frank Salt, rented from England, was picked up at airport and taken to apartment. Added bonus was that through buying through them as well, we get a refund on their rental arrangement fees.
I contacted every rental agency I could find on line and FS was the only one to come through and can recommend their service for both renting and buying as they did not try and twist my arm into buying overpriced crap as all the other agencies did. One of them, Dahlia, tried to get me to make an fraudulent declaration to get a tax exemption if I bought through them. This did not promote a great deal of faith in their professional ethical standards.

I used frank salt to buy my apartment in Malta, Great service, very professional. Would also recommend them

Hello All,

I am an American, single woman. I am planning on coming to Malta in April, to stay as long as I can. (I know the max. limit is 90 days) Perhaps I can go to another country outside of the Schengen for 90 days, and then return.
My name is Kathy. I am a widow, and retired. Your article on agents and renting was very helpful.

Thank you
Kathy

P.S. Any apartments known to anyone out there, for rent from April to June, 2BR, 1 B. for around 450.00 to 500.00 a month (furnished) please let me know.
All help is greatly appreciated.  My e-mail is *

Moderated by Christine 3 months ago
Reason : please share your contact details via pm. Thank you

Hello,

Interesting thread! I am writing as a landlord (though I am also a tenant  :) We are currently looking to rent out our 3 bed Maisonette in Swieqi and have been looking for ways to reach tenants directly rather than through agencies. Does anyone have any ideas where I could list it so that potential tenants would see it? The groups I've advertised in so far all seem to be agents only. I'd be grateful for any hints.

Bye_London :

Hello,

Interesting thread! I am writing as a landlord (though I am also a tenant  :) We are currently looking to rent out our 3 bed Maisonette in Swieqi and have been looking for ways to reach tenants directly rather than through agencies. Does anyone have any ideas where I could list it so that potential tenants would see it? The groups I've advertised in so far all seem to be agents only. I'd be grateful for any hints.

There is a housing section at the top of this page; you can place your ad there.

There is also a website called No Agents Please - we haven't tried it, but saw some apartments in Mellieha advertised there.

Thanks, I have done that. Unfortunately even on this page agents immediately "steal" the ad and re-post it as their own...

Thank you, I will check out the website.

Thoughtful, thorough post. Thank you so much!

Hi all, thank you for your thoughtful reflections and advice. I am looking to long term rent a two bedroom flat in the Bormla, Senglea, Vittoriosa or Birgu areas from May 2017. Any advice (agents, services, personal recs) are appreciated! Please pm me.
Grazzi!
Dr.M

Hi, we have just started our search (although, we not decided on area).   We were advised that living in the NOrh is better.  We have 2 small children (3 and 5), but I may consider home schooling for now...  I have been looking at St. Paul's Bay and surrounding areas.   I am not too keen on using an agent (never had good dealings ) so was also wondering if there is another way of looking??  Any advise would be great.  This is my 4th country move, but for some reason this is one I seem most scared of... Thanks all

and am not surprised there are many pitfalls to encounter and avoid if you can  - dont be another statistic and victim of high rents, unfair contracts, lost deposits, stolen elec and water landlord abuse etc = make sure you do all the research

and join a few specific  facebook groups that work hard and relentlessly to help you avoid such problems  = if you need links to those that work to make it easier or should you fall into one of the many traps  then please feel free to PM me

you will be lucky to get good decent accom at that rate in Malta  rents have gone sky high

TIP - some very important questions all tenants need to ask from now on
1) does the property have its own separate meter? 2) Is the meter accessible to the tenant? 3) Is the property Form H approved? if not is the LL willing to do so and complete one? 4) What tariff is current on the property? and for how many consumers? and is their evidence available of it? 5) Can this be included in the tenancy agreement? 6) is the meter in the property a submeter or a prepaid meter? and has it been installed legally? Are Enemalta aware of its existence 7) if a prepaid meter is installed what rate of charge is being levied? 8) will you be providing me with the original Arms Ltd two pages bills?


TIP - ask your agent if using one -
1) are you disclosing ALL information about the property and especially the utility tariff relating to the properties you are showing me?
2) are you responsible for any and all information that you have not disclosed to me?
3) will you assist me if i have issues with the landlord?
4) will you mediate fairly between me and the LL over the return of my deposit at the end of the tenancy if I dont renew ?

Caveat emptor (let the buyer beware)

TIP - Before signing a contract and before handing over any cash deposits or rents over to Landlord or agent
Please ensure
Contract includes for
a) the property is cleaned to your satisfaction prior to occupation - if due to timings that cant be achieved then an agreement that it will be done at the LLs cost within a given timeframe
b) any identified repairs or shortages are dealt with again within a given timeframe
c) LL liability repairs and maintenance to be completed within a given timeframe
d) an explaination of what the deposit covers and its clauses for refund
e) be sure of who you are paying the deposit to, when it gets paid and handed over to Landlord, and under what conditions the deposit gets handed over to the Landlord. - IDEALLY get an agreement with the agent if one is used that the deposit doesnt get handed over until your requirements and agents/LLs promises have been fulfilled. If not using an agent then get that same agreement from the owner. BOTH PREFERABLY IN WRITING & INCLUDED WITHIN THE CONTRACT
Beware, be aware and be wary of any Landlord who maybe hasnt done the cleaning of an apartment before your viewing of it. Be wary of false promises and smiley smiley faces, its a good sign of things to come so - best advice is to WALK AWAY - or RUN as fast as you can. If you arent careful you will be in the LLs world of hurt with a heavy financial loss that you will rarely if ever get back.
If you move in before these things are done, its usually game over. Before you move in you are in control and can demand it, and you can (in theory) breach the contract immediately.. but you know if you are going to do that you are going to be taking the LL to court for the deposit...he wont be giving it back willingly or anytime soon....as they see the deposit as free money .. so protect yourself at all costs
caveat emptor....

TIP - be warned that sometimes photos appear on property let adverts that are not what they seem . .for example a photo was seen advertising a property in Msida at €800 per month and when I clicked on the image to view it then right clicked on that image and selected search for image in google..... its of a flat in Battersea London
very misleading
caveat emptor - - what you see advertised isnt necessarily true.

TIP - high elec bills = check your meter whilst turning appliances off one by one - heavy / faulty consumer appliances can be identified.
A faulty thermostat on the Fridge Freezer can cause the compressor to run 24/7, this will certainly eat your electricity. The trick is, with the fridge or freezer on, turn the thermostat slowly down, at some point the motor should stop and go quiet. If youve turned the thermostat(temp control) all the way down and the motor does not stop then it is faulty. It has been recommend to many people to just try this anyhow on all fridges once a month, this will save you a lot of money. One pub this was recommended to saved 200 Euros per month by finding three faulty freezers this way...
got to be worth a try

TIP - please please please do not hand over any deposits to agents or landlords unless you can afford to and are prepared to LOSE it - an increased level of unethical practices have been uncovered recently - SO BE WARNED


research research research guys...... protect yourself always.......... - and remember many ads include photos that are not recent so dont be surprised when you see the reality - its often very very different

TIP  - there seems to be a few recent illegal entries to tenants properties by landlords - - here is a cheap and quick indicator that someone is entering without your knowledge or permission

This event was notified to me by a colleague during a conversation with a tenant who just knew their LL was entering their rented property when they were at work, and today they caught him / someone with a ketchup packet.

Snip a very very small corner off the packet and place it under the door mat. It works a charm.

Obviously this doesnt prove its the LL but somone who has access to keys - you could and should IMO change the locks on immediate initial occupation  - as you really dont know who has had keys in the past and still has them or who keys have been cut and issued to  in the past to what is now  your new home doors

You could also make a small investment in a portable / removable CCTV IP camera and that would enagage on movement detected and record the events.... thus proving the event to police

PROTECT YOURSELF

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