Moving out + landlord troubles

I'm moving from Malta at the end of August and I have tried to talk to my landlord about moving out (I sent him a text message informing him that I want to terminate the lease) but he's been ignoring my text messages and phone calls for 3 days. I'm worried that he'll become really difficult and won't pay back the deposit + the extra that I've paid for e&w. Do I have any rights in this matter if he refuses to pay them back? What would happen if he didn't pay them back and I reported him to the police? And if this would happen, would it be legal for me to share his name here as a warning to everyone?

Hi, is your contract over or are you finishing it early? It's highly unlikely that you will get your deposit back. For one, they will keep it until after the full water and electric bill is through to check you don't owe anything, secondly, to the Maltese (until more recently,) a deposit (and 1st months payment) was called 'first and last' as in it is the last months rent. There may be a couple of people on here that have got their deposit back but I know of many, many more that don't and the harsh reality is that it is the 'norm' not to receive it.
To the police it is a civil matter, so if you want to pay and get tied up in courts you can :(

Hi milhouse,

it is always difficult to judge a situation without adequate information.

Generally speaking a contract is a contract , even in Malta. The terms and conditions are written in your rental contract and signed by both parties.

A deposit always goes against outstanding bills and damages to the property. What makes you think that you won't get your deposit back if everything is ok ? I got my deposit back when I moved a few months ago.

Judging by the average amount of deposit it will not be worth the hassle to start a court case.

Bad-mouthing your landlord would exclude you from ever returning to Malta at least!

Make sure that you terminate all contracts with providers and who knows what ! I just had a visit by the police chasing the former tenant who went back to Belgium without paying bills and terminating his GO contract. !



The contract is indefinite. It only dictates that I should inform the landlord about moving out 60 days prior (which I have done as I'm planning to stay in the flat for July and August and pay rent until the beginning of September--I've told him this).

There is no damage to the flat and I've kept it clean and I've paid too much for w&e (so he owes me money). If I've broken something (like plates, glasses, etc.), I've replaced them straight away. There is no reason for him to keep the deposit, but I've heard other people have had some problems with getting their deposit back and now he is acting strange, ignoring my phone calls and text messages, so I'm getting worried.

I can't afford to give away 450e (+some 200e), it's a lot of money for me.

As others have said it will depend on how "official" your landlord is.
Do you pay him cash? Do you have official receipts or a rent book?
Take photos of your place before you go and make sure he checks the inventory when you are present.
Pay the last months rent via a post dated cheque, cancel it if he does not return your deposit or tell him to take the last months rent out of the deposit..


I suggest you don't pay the last months rent if you think he is going to get funny about it...Only a thought?? He will soon speak to you and sort it out when you don't give him any money!!

Sadly it is the norm - and certainly doesnt bode well for the reputation of the island as the friendly isle

I dont see why if the landlords is being nasty naughty and awkward and in very basic terms robbing you - why cant he bad mouth him and why should that exclude him from returning to Malta  -  i dont see that at all.... we all know they do this daily - why is there such an acceptance of daylight robbery here. We all know too they shouldnt and dont really in many cases have any real reason to refuse refund  - BUT THEY DO..... generally on made up reasons... once they got your cash they never want to give it back to you....

Its also quite sad that this happens mainly to foreigners - as we are seen as easy meat.

the courts dont want to know - neither do the police -

you could try placing a garnishee order against him as a debt to you - no proof req'd just a written application a small fee. - from that they(the courts) freeze the amount from all of his bank accounts (banks cant refuse the order) - and wages too if he working - they use this all the time against tenants who are alleged to owe them - it must surely work both ways.

Thanks everyone!

Yeah I pay him in cash and I have no official receipts (but I have taken a photo of every single e&w bill received as he never gives me a copy once I hand them to him--not sure if that helps but at least it's something). He comes over every 5th of the month to collect the rent so he should contact me soon and I will try to talk with him about paying the last rent from the deposit. I don't see a reason why he wouldn't agree to it because as I said he comes over every month and he can see that the flat is in perfect condition but if he doesn't agree to it I'll be even more worried.

I don't have a cheque book so I cannot pay with a cheque unfortunately.

I need to look into placing a garnishee as a last option if nothing else works out.


there are obviously different opinions on how to go forward .

Please let us know how you decide and what the outcome is . I hope the result is as best as can be.


Thanks Ricky, I will

If I had landlord's name and address I would send a registered letter saying when I was moving out and that I require a meeting.
If landlord does not respond and having proof of delivery of letter I would just go.
Let anything due be taken out of the deposit.
Avoid the so called 'legal route'. That will take years to sort out, cost you more money and dare I say, you may not have the best outcome that you may think you deserve.

i agree with Red on this one - however even the garnishee route cant be classed as a legal option as its so flawed its a joke really but it seems to work for our hosts against tenants who are alleged to owe.