Accommodation in Malta

Updated 2023-01-29 12:16

As an expat in Malta, one of the first steps is to find accommodation. Malta has a quickly and continuously developing rental market, providing a range of accommodation options to meet any budget. You should not have much trouble finding the ideal place to settle down, but first, take the time to learn about different cities and neighborhoods and about rent prices before choosing.

Types of accommodation in Malta

Accommodation in Malta includes both furnished and unfurnished options. It's best to reach out to real estate agencies or individual listings online to view accommodation fitting your criteria and budget after you've arrived. Fully furnished accommodations are common. Renting a fully furnished flat (or house) in Malta is a very good option for expats: you just need to come straight from the airport with your suitcases and settle in your new home. Know that fully furnished accommodations in Malta usually have everything you might need: furniture, cookers, and even bedsheets. Make sure to talk with the owner before you arrive in Malta to avoid bringing unnecessary stuff. Unfurnished accommodations can also be found in Malta. They are recommended for people willing to settle down in Malta for many years, as the rent is usually cheaper. Buy your own furniture, and you will feel completely at home.

There are several types of accommodation in Malta. Choose the type that best fits your preferences, lifestyle, people in your household and, of course, budget. Here are the main types of accommodation in Malta:

  • Flat: Renting a flat in Malta is a popular choice amongst expats.
  • Penthouse: It is an apartment or small house built on the highest floor of a building. It has more features than standard flats, such as a sun terrace and an exceptional view. It is also more isolated from the other flats and buildings, which is a perk in a crowded area.
  • Townhouse: Why not rent a typically Maltese townhouse? Those types of houses are located in the cities and towns. Although they do not have a garden, they are equipped with a roof terrace.
  • Villa: If it fits your budget, you can consider renting a villa in Malta. This luxury type of accommodation often comes with a private pool.
  • Flatshare: all the previous types of accommodation can be shared with flatmates. In some cases, you can find a room with a private bathroom.

Are you unsure about which flat or house to rent in Malta? Book your temporary accommodations for your arrival to allow yourself time to look for a more permanent situation. You won't be able to learn much about currently available rentals until you are in Malta in person.

Rent prices in Malta

Rent prices in Malta have increased quite quickly in recent years as interest in the island from both tourists and expats has grown. Housing prices have gone up throughout the islands, with certain areas costing nearly triple what they were just two years ago.

The areas around Valletta through to Pembroke have seen dramatic spikes in pricing as their popularity has grown. Other popular expat areas like Bugibba and St. Paul's Bay have also seen quickly rising prices.

If you want to live in the main towns (Valletta, Sliema and St Julian's), rents will be higher than elsewhere. Expect to pay at least €500 for a studio, €700 for a flat and €1,200 or more for a luxury flat or villa.

In the countryside and the south of Malta, rents will be lower than in the capital and its neighbors Sliema and St Julian's. You can find charming flats in stone buildings or small character houses starting from €700 per month.

Rent prices listed online are rarely up-to-date. Keep this in mind while looking through real estate websites and other online marketplaces. Those sites are still a good resource to view the types of accommodation available on the island, but true prices are likely higher than what you will find online. Plan your budget accordingly.

Keep in mind that rental prices are almost always up for negotiation. You can offer to pay several months in advance for a cheaper rate or try to include your utilities in a monthly rate.

How to find accommodation in Malta

The property market is very active in the Maltese islands. You will not have difficulties finding accommodation in Malta. You can contact a real estate agent or find accommodation direct from the owner. This last option is cheaper, as you will not need to pay a real estate agent fee or commission. However, make sure the owner is serious. Be careful of the scams if you are coming from abroad.

Finding accommodation in Malta through an agent can save you time and avoid some scams. Here is a list of the main real estate agents in Malta:

  • RE/MAX
  • Quicklets
  • Simon Mamo Real Estate
  • Alliance Real Estate
  • Dhalia Real Estate
  • Benestates

Social networks are widely used in Malta to find accommodation and rent flats. Facebook is the most popular social media used to find accommodation in Malta. A lot of advertisements are posted every day, both from agents and owners. Just look for specialized groups, using keywords like “accommodation in Malta”, “rent a flat in Malta” or “Malta sharing accommodation”. If you want to rent direct from the owner in Malta, it is recommended to use social media.

Finally, classified ads in newspapers (such as the Times of Malta) and online marketplaces may also help in your search. Maltapark is an online marketplace in Malta where an accommodation listing can be found. Finally, if you know some people on the Maltese islands, consider using word-of-mouth.

Reach out to any listing agents to try to arrange viewings upon arrival, but you'll most likely have luck by phone once you're on the island.

Good to know:

EU, EEA and Swiss citizens do not need a visa to enter and live in Malta. To stay for more than three months, however, you need a residence permit (eResidence card).

How to choose your accommodation in Malta

You need to choose your accommodation in Malta carefully. Pay close attention to the following points.

Prefer accommodation equipped with reversible air conditioning: you will need it! In Malta, summers are really hot, so the AC will help you to cool down. Although winters are not freezing in Malta, the humidity, the wind and the low-quality isolation found in some accommodations will make you feel cold. A reversible AC can give you some warmth, thus preventing cold and humidity from settling in your home.

If you are planning to rent in a very crowded area such as Sliema or Saint Julian's, consider renting a property with private parking. However, if you rent in a less crowded area such as a village in the countryside, you will not need private parking as you will be able to park in the street. Don't worry, it is really safe to park your car in the street in Malta.

If you don't have a car, check the public transport offer near your accommodation. As the Maltese buses stop almost everywhere in Malta, this shouldn't be difficult. There will be likely a bus stop near your accommodation. However, in the countryside there are fewer buses, so it might be more tricky or take more time to commute to your work or move around the islands.

Where to live in Malta

Most of the expats in Malta choose to live in the north, where are located the main cities and economic activity.

Many expats and Maltese want to live in the main cities (read our articles Accommodation in Sliema and Accommodation in Saint Julian's), as these are the commercial and cultural hubs. There you can rent a modern flat in a nice residence or even a luxury property if you can afford it.

Some expats think of renting accommodation in Valletta, the capital city of Malta. There, the architectural wealth is protected and there are mainly old townhouses and remodeled palaces.

If you wish to find accommodation with a good location but are not attracted by the Saint Julian's and Sliema areas, opt for the central area of Malta. Mosta, Naxxar and Birkirkara are well-located and close to all amenities.

If you move away from the big cities, you will find authentic and pleasant rural houses in the countryside or in villages. You could even find luxury villas, which are a thriving market. In the south, the countryside of Malta also has a lot to offer: more peaceful surroundings, nature, the sea and cheaper rents. Rabat, Siġġiewi, Qrendi, Żurrieq and Marsaskala are some nice villages in the Maltese countryside you can live in. The north of Malta offers similar perks. Mellieħa, Mġarr and Saint Paul's Bay are good choices if you wish to live between the sea and the countryside.

Finally, you may consider living in Gozo, Malta's little sister. Finding accommodation in Gozo will let you enjoy its beautiful nature and quietness.

Lease arrangements in Malta

It is always advised that you sign a legal lease contract, which clearly states the rights and obligations of both parties.

The lease documents should include means and terms of payment, bills and services (electricity, water, cable, phone, TV and Internet), the lease duration, notice period, rules regarding the use of common spaces, additional services provided by the lessor or owner, etc.

Good to know:

Don't forget to conduct an inventory before moving to your new accommodation. Feel free to request from the owner the housing unit's Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) as well.

Fees for renting Maltese accommodations

You will be required to pay a security deposit for any rental, which is equal to a month's rent or more and which should be refunded to you at the end of the lease contract if no damage has been done. It is not uncommon for security deposits to be kept in full in Malta, so do not put down a deposit that you cannot afford to lose entirely. You will also be required to pay one month's rent in advance and a deposit for charges.

If you have found accommodation through a real estate agency, you will also have to pay an agent's fee, which is usually equal to half a month's rent. The landlord will also pay half a month's rent as a fee to the agent.

A lease of six months or less is a short-term lease and a lease of more than six months is a long-term lease. The end of the lease can be negotiated with the owner, as the renewal of any lease.

Make sure to verify that the landlord has the authorization to let the accommodation. Besides this authorization, the owner also must have housing insurance that provides coverage in case of natural calamities, floods, voluntary damages, theft, etc.

The owner must also be registered with the Inland Revenue Department for value-added tax (VAT) and income tax. You can also request a Form H to ensure that your electricity and water bills are charged at the appropriate rate as a residential unit (and not the domestic or non-residential rates, which are more expensive). In order to increase transparency, the government passed a new law requiring landlords to fill out the H form when letting a property. Utility bills are managed by ARMS in Malta, whose website even has a bill calculator.

Holiday rentals in Malta

Aside from long-term rentals, there are also short-term rentals and holiday rentals in Malta. If you are traveling to Malta just for one or two weeks, opt for holiday rentals. As a tourist, you can find a lot of nice properties to rent, such as flats with a sea view, luxury villas, and even charming farmhouses with a swimming pool.

Once again, you can rent through an agent or directly from the owner. Also, check the Airbnb website to find a holiday rental in Malta. Note that the rent is more expensive during the summer months.

Useful links:

Housing Authority Malta

Times of Malta

FindIt - Directory of real estate agencies


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