I'm trying to rent in Malta with my family for at least six months.
I've read lots about the debate concerning the Domestic v. the Residential tariff, so when we enquired, the agent told us that
(1) The number of residents would be listed at '0'.
(2) He wouldn't change the bills in our name because 'it costs €800 to change the name.'
(3) 99% of landlords in Malta will list the number of residents at '0' and this is the norm. We are effectively naive to consider that we could be charged at the resident rate despite being resident.
After much debate we walked away (eventually the landlord agreed to do Form H, but I felt that given he had refused twice before only agreeing to do it when we initially walked away that it wasn't a good beginning. It's only a form and might save us quite a lot of money, so I didn't think it should be such a big deal).
I'm just confused because on one hand many forums etc. say 'take a hard line etc.'- obviously I don't have the experience of knowing how easy it is to overcome this. I know that even if the landlord refused I could take Form H to ARMS and try to change the rate myself, but that would likely cause further aggro so I wasn't sure about it.
Sorry, I know this subject is probably beaten to death, but advice on what to do. We are a family of five, with three kids under five, so the difference in cost is likely to be quite substantial given the differences in allowances between '0' and '5' people.
I'm also intrigued by where this agent 'I've been in the business for a long time' gets the €800 figure for. I've had a look at ARMS forms and it seems changing the name on the account is relatively simple - a cost of €4.66!
TLDR: What is the correct attitude to take regarding the utilities tariffs when renting when told various things by agents?