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High prices of rents in Malta

Hi folks!

There is one topic which bothers me lately in Malta, as probably most of expats here. Rent prices have gone up this year like crazy! Now I work also with (not only) real estates in Malta, so I am in position to help with this, but it is not my intention here to advertise anything.

What I notice as a rule lately is that a lot of landlords do some renovations or refurnishing and increase rents up to 50%. Even in South the normal price for a modern, decent, well furnished (considering western standards) is 700 eur long let. Families can hardly afford it, Maltese cannot afford it, so it is now becoming like a necessity to share an apartment for regular working expats coming here to work.

And what i fear is that the prices now off-season will go down only slightly... Sometimes there are apartments to rent for 350-400 eur per mont, but what I have seen of them some are below of the basic human dignity, and me personally would rather camp or live in a garage....

What are your experiences. Is it somewhere decent 2-3 bedroom for maximum 500 eur month still?

I'm really interested in this. We were planning to move over late next year but I'm afraid that we are going to get priced out of moving. We would need a 3 bed and initially we were thinking we would have to pay about 500e a month down the south, now I just don't know so it will be good to see the replies.

It's true, prices go up in sought after areas. I even think the more buildings are finished, the higher the prices go ... not logical, but this fits to Malta  :D
As long as the people are willing to pay these high rents, the landlords would be stupid not to ask for it !

Air B and Bs are part of the problem too, as in cities all over the world. I did a search recently of air B and Bs in Sliema alone and there were something like 800 listed. So even with all the new apartments and existing derelict ones, supply is tight.

Air B'n'B is not a "problem", it's more an "opportunity" ... if you blame Air B'n'B, you have to blame the tourists as well.
For Maltese, but also foreigners, owning a flat in tourism regions it makes sense to rent them to tourists while living in much cheaper flats somewhere in the back country.

It's a problem for people who live and work here and need long lets. If Air B and Bs are regulated as businesses then that's fair. It's causing huge problems in cities all over the world and making them more and more unaffordable.

I hit this problem big time, having had to find a 6 month let at short notice at the beginning of June. I was told that the tax relating to rentals changed and that land lords responded to this by refusing to renew existing lets so that the could re-rent at higher charges to cover the tax. Additionally, there has been a big movement to import online betting and the expanded demand has also pushed up demand and costs.
The government is, or has, introduced a top up allowance for Maltese to meet the higher costs, but if the UK model is anything to go by, this will only drive rents higher. I have raised this with a friend who has the PM's ear, to some degree, but I do  not see any resolution to this problem any time soon.

Rent almost never goes down, only up. There must be a LOT of foreigners taking the rentals, if the Maltese can't afford the rents and they are still going up, lol.

A lot of professionals live in shared apartments these days. It used to be that you could get a decent flat in Malta for the price of a small room in London (about 600-700/month). Not any more.

A friend of ours used to live in an absolutely horrible flat, one of those shoebox type things, 12 flats where there was once one single house, you have to duck in the staircases cause otherwise you hit your head, no windows, mould etc .... in a horrible part of Hamrun, a horrible village. She decided to move out and put her flat up for rent, and it was gone in two days, she's renting it out at 650 a month!! It's just insane! (And now she's a got a three-bedroom penthouse with views in Mgarr for 550. Not bad I say :) )

rent's are going insane atm, my friend just got a call from his landlord that he needs to raise his rent, but "only" by 200e
the fact that there is a contract still in place for original price, doesn't matter

I  have 2 colleagues trying to find a decent 2 bedroom apartment in Mosta/Naxxar area with budget of 550-600e, but they can't find anything

it is true what someone mentioned - lots of foreign workers share places - i know 3 such arrangements of people who work with me - 3 guys paying 1400 in st julians for 3 bedroom place and then sharing the rent - they are happy as the place is really nice, landlord is happy as he gets ton of money , rest of people are unhappy as our landlords want to find same agreement :)

N.B. my landlord is awesome, but lately I have a feeling it is just the fact that I got very lucky with renting from him

Last August the airport reported a new record of almost 600,000 passengers - most of them tourists. A friend of mine was looking for a hotel room in August - everything was completely booked, same for holiday apartments ... and then try to find a flat for long let at a decent price when the owners can charge 100 Euros per day  :unsure

But what is the alternative? Buying a flat for 200 or 300k ... compared with a 800 Euro rent this gives a good return only after 20 to 30 years ...

It's logical, really. I mean, the rents in most of Europe are much higher. Even say compared to places in Italy, even in medium sized towns, the rents were higher than Malta. It is only a matter of time that more people finds about Malta and come here to enjoy the weather and hassle-free bureaucratic stay (as to be not asked for anything when you rent an apartment, just your passport and one month deposit, unlike Italy, Spain or England were you are asked all your life and economic history).

I predict the rents will continue to go up until something unexpected happens, maybe another global economic crisis, or maybe if the local bubble of constructions and real estate investment explodes, which is a bit unlikely as there is demand, although probably not as many as to justify all the construction (one just needs to take a look and see how many empty or shell properties there are, lying all over Malta).

MaltaCommando wrote:

It's logical, really. I mean, the rents in most of Europe are much higher.

Except they're not. A high end 2 bed apartment is rarely > 1000/month in other cities whereas it seems to be the norm now in Malta (areas with easy commute to work).

We rented in Spain without any history - some money in the bank is usually enough. It depends on where in Spain though. 800-1000/month gets you a apartment that would cost around 1200-1800/month in St Julians or anywhere Sliema (-ish). Views, 2-3 bedrooms, new furniture, parquet floors, heating, AC, balcony...

I do agree about lack of bureaucracy in Malta. I really like that about the islands - you can do whatever you want and no one will ever bother you about it. :) Unfortunately for many foreigners that means not paying any (or very little) taxes as no one seems to care in Malta. Maybe it's a good thing. I don't really mind it to be honest.

Vagrant wrote:

I was told that the tax relating to rentals changed and that land lords responded to this by refusing to renew existing lets so that the could re-rent at higher charges to cover the tax.

You were told incorrectly, the problem is a high percentage of the landlords were not paying tax (illegally) now they are getting caught (or fearing getting caught).  This is because the 'empty second home' excuse no longer washes as the tenants of long term lets are allowed by law (and can do it without the landlords consent) to register themselves as a resident in an address to get cheaper electricity and water (the good old Form H.)

Regards,

Michelle

MaltaCommando wrote:

I predict the rents will continue to go up until something unexpected happens, maybe another global economic crisis, or maybe if the local bubble of constructions and real estate investment explodes,  ...

Or maybe, let's name it, a terrorist attack (*kow*)  :o
I mean Malta is not missing one single opportunity to highlight how safe and stable this country is.
This might not only attract more and more foreign business and tourists ... and if something like this would happen on this small island of milk and honey, the impact would be catastrophic.

mis wrote:

You were told incorrectly, the problem is a high percentage of the landlords were not paying tax (illegally) now they are getting caught (or fearing getting caught).

:lol: This means that exactly these (foreign) people who were complaining about (traditional) irregularities and claiming more law-abiding mentality from the locals, now have to pay the (higher) price for their requests ... paradox ...  :lol:
I still do not insist on a receipt most of the time and enjoy lower (local) prices  :cool:

Ho we are currently looking at renting some holiday accommodation for 6 months as we are unable to afford the  €700 -850  that is being requested.  It is such a shame as I am just one person who Is willing to relocate and work in the hospital to provide assistance.
If there is any advice you can provide then that would be great.  I don't really want to go through estate agents if possible.

Many thanks
Sharon

matm911 wrote:
mis wrote:

You were told incorrectly, the problem is a high percentage of the landlords were not paying tax (illegally) now they are getting caught (or fearing getting caught).

:lol: This means that exactly these (foreign) people who were complaining about (traditional) irregularities and claiming more law-abiding mentality from the locals, now have to pay the (higher) price for their requests ... paradox ...  :lol:
I still do not insist on a receipt most of the time and enjoy lower (local) prices  :cool:

I agree with you there. Ppl complain about how landlords avoid taxes, but what do I care about my landlord's taxes.. Personally I prefer paying a lower rent. Just saying...

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