We take a closer look at Malta’s property market, let’s see how to rent in Malta. How much is the rental fee? What kind of property can and should you rent? Contracts, real estate agents, market analysis… This little guide provides you with all practical information from Q2 2017.
Let us start with the most important information. Rental fees and the additional costs are increasing hyper fast in Malta. It is affordable but was significantly cheaper a couple of years ago. Recently, it looks like that Malta will become the second Ibiza. I mean who works during the day sleeps in a van at night, and another one who works comes in the morning to relax. Meanwhile, the first person works again. Now, let me explain you why is it happening with property rental prices in Malta.
Malta is a tiny island nation in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. It means, the built-up area is limited by the sea. If the Maltese would increase the territory of the island, still the only billionaire could afford those lands. In the case, if you are a rich (HNWI) person, please contact me and I resolve your problems with pleasure.
As more and more foreigners choose Malta for living from the EU and third countries, the costs must increase for that limited amount of properties. Owners can rent their real estates so expensive in the main season that it is not even worth for them to rent it for the long term.
When Airbnb launched its services, they offered only 24 properties, meanwhile, in 2017, you can choose from 3800 real estates.
The costs of real estate renting in Sliema increased with 80%.This is quite awful, but not much better anywhere else. This is quite awful, but not much better anywhere else. For example, in Mellieha, the rental fee of a bedroom in 2010 was EUR 163, the same average for EUR 201 for 2016. In Mosta, which is not even a coastal resort and at least six years ago, the average rent for one room was € 173, but by the end of last year, it was € 291, according to Malta Today.
Buy a property or rent in Malta?
Buying real estate in Malta is terribly expensive. Especially when compared to the prices of other Mediterranean countries. Also, it was so inexpensive to rent that everyone preferred the cheapest option. In this post, I only share information on rental issues, but naturally, I know a lot of people who bought their dream or nightmare homes in Malta. Personally, I wouldn’t invest in Maltese properties because I can’t afford it and for the same price, you can buy beautiful places in South-Europe. However, it is your decision, and it can be a good idea shortly. When rental prices reach the heights of the mortgage costs, it will the better step at the end of the day.
When should you rent an apartment in Malta?
Not in high-season.The long- and short-term rental market are different, but from May to September, owners can easily rent their what they have. In that time, you will rent at the worst price if you can find one.
In Malta, commuting is a serious task. Living even only some kilometres away from your job can be difficult. If you work in Sliema, then it will be difficult to live in Bugibba. Moreover, because of this, you should rent something close to your workplace. And the rental fee can be easily the double of the same cost in the countryside. The same applies to Gozo, more than half of its population work in Malta. Of course, you can commute between the two islands. However, if a storm visits the country, then the ferry can take up to 2-3 hours (one way).
In Malta, there are two overwhelming effects, both leading the market to tremendous price hike:
- The enormous amount of rich people and high-skilled professionals moving to Malta
- The foreigners are serving the wealthy foreigners (like most of my readers, so maybe even you).
These effects have caused already serious social consequences. The rich people seized the right places to live, and the poor immigrants seized the cheap real estates. The traditional single-earner Maltese families can’t compete with young foreigners because they rent rooms for the season, mostly couples, so there are six to eight earners, instead of one. So, they can pay even eight times more. It should also be noted that in the online gaming business, the average 14,000 EUR Brut Salary is no longer competitive due to the higher rental fees.
Of course, all real estate companies have a website, the market leaders are RE/MAX and Frank Salt.
Among the independent portals, Maltapark is the most significant.
But my professional advice is not to make a quick commitment. If you come for a few days or weeks, months, then I think it’s best to ask for a cheap rent in the Malta related Facebook groups or other social networks. In these groups of Malta, people know each other, so there will be someone to call your attention if the offer is not right. This is still a better option than to swear to the owner that you will raise even your grandson in that apartment and then find a job in two weeks on the other side of the island.
Furnished or unfurnished apartment in Malta?
In Malta, almost all apartments up to rent are furnished. You can bring furniture to Malta, but it has only disadvantages. The next IKEA is in Sicily, but local people still travel there to buy furniture. There is no wood in Malta, so the furniture you can buy in Malta arrives mainly from China, and these are still very expensive because there is nothing else. If you obtain a couple of acquaintances, some merchants will bring you the stuff directly from China in a container. It is an affordable solution, but better forget quality.
Rent in Malta through real estate agent
The market leader is the RE/MAX, but there are dozens of real estate agencies. So, first of all, it’s important to know that real estate agents are rarely working with cheap real estate. As the commission, the Maltese real estate agents usually receive the one-month rental fee, the owner and the tenant pay half-half month. This can be quite different, but this is a general situation. If you are looking for 200 euros/month solution, then the agent receives brut 200 euros (-tax and the agency’s commission), that’s why they are not too eager to help, which is understandable about the amount of work invested.
Rental contract in Malta
The Maltese rental contract can be a classic contract, agency form, a handwritten scrap of paper, or anything but you must have one. If you are a fresh immigrant, you will need the contract as additional necessary document during most of the official processes. It is important to copy the owner’s ID card upon signing the contract. On the other hand, the owner should pay the tourist tax if this is your first Maltese home and you do not own a residence permit or ID card. This payment is never going to happen, I just mentioned it as an exotic piece of knowledge. When you obtain the legal reason to stay in Malta, this kind of tax loses its importance. The deposit is usually one month in Malta (can be different, of course. Practically, you have to pay a one-month deposit, a one-month rental fee in advance and half month rental fee as the commission of the real estate agent. The term of withdrawal varies but usually one month before leaving the property. My personal experience is to not ask for the deposit, just don’t pay for the last month. Long-term rental or lease period is over six months in Malta.
Property types for rent in Malta
I’ am just writing this because it can be useful if you are not familiar with the Maltese interpretation of Anglo-Saxo terms yet. The quality of the common Maltese properties is terrible. The reason is that the developers are in a sharp price competition and it has a serious effect on the quality of workmanship and the built-in materials. The real estates are cold in winter and hot in summer, they are awful, everywhere in Malta and Gozo. If you accidentally can rent a flat in a new building, then take a deep breath before opening the utility bill’s envelope.
The following property types are the most common in Malta:
- Apartment: Flat
- Penthouse: it is 99% that we are talking about the upper-floor unit and not the classic penthouse.
- Maisonette: This is officially an apartment that occupies one or two floors in a larger house, and its entrance often opens to the street.
- Terraced House: House with a terrace, most of the cases this is a staircase to the flat roof.
- Townhouse: a house in the city. This is a very common type of property in Malta and Gozo.
- House of Character: Romantic property but definitely must be renovated. If it would be not ruined, then it would be published as “Townhouse”. Of course, this not preclude you from renting an early Gothic fortification but do not be surprised if the last property maintenance were successfully done by Suleiman sultan’s fleet (from the outside). However, you will find the most magical and charming real estates in this category, where even the stairs leading to the pool were designed to be comfortable in armour.
- Farmhouse: It should be a farm but above two square meters of green (this is the so-called “garden” in Malta”, all properties are “Farmhouses”. Genuine pieces can also be found in Malta but the home of farmhouses is the island of Gozo, and it will not be cheap if you are looking for a classy house with pool and ten palm trees.
- Villa, Bungalow: these can be the traditional residential park/gated community or beach house at an entirely different price range.
- Palazzo: this is a townhouse, with a few apartments on the same floors.
Real Estate Rental Rates in Malta (Rent costs in Malta)
The price range is enormous in Malta. I asked a few friends, who are living in entirely different locations and property types. The point is that the cost can differ but don’t live far from your workplace, try to avoid commuting. If you do not accept this advice, you will often think of me and not with tears of joy in your eyes.The following prices are from June 2017 and are interesting because the tenants all have been living here for some time, so their approach to the rental fees is close to the optimum or the available.
Let’s take a look at Malta and let us start with the ends:
Zebbug, apartment, one room (kitchen, bath + living room). There is no heating but little rear garden. 350 EUR / month. It was originally a garage. It’s at the bottom of the Maltese market. It is unlikely to find a cheaper place to live.
Mellieha, apartment, four rooms, two baths, brutal view, elevator, air conditioning, garage, brand new building: 800 euros. I think that’s because it hasn’t been even finished when the tenant has moved in.
Zurrieq, flat with three bedrooms. 100-110 sqm around 500 € / month.
What about the capital? Many people are looking for properties up to rent in Valletta and they just can’t understand that the capital is not a reward but a punishment. There is no car park; all real estates are humid and old, no shopping but sightseeing tourist hordes around the clock. The number of flats for rent is practically 0. One of my friends rented a beautiful house on St Paul street, four floors, the roof came with a breathtaking panorama, the builder was the auditor of the knights, nicely renovated and decorated, without furniture: 1300 euros a month. A beautiful place to live with a beautiful interior structure and sculptures, but with a tremendous amount of stairs.
So let’s start from the capital to the business and entertainment district:
Tax’biex, two rooms, small yard, modern furniture, dazzling views of the marina with TV and internet: € 725.
St Julians: Two hundred meters from Spinola Bay, three bedrooms/2 bathrooms in a condominium. 1250 euros, garage and utility bills included, except the internet.
Now, let’s look at the island of Gozo, where prices are in fact much lower, but it is also difficult to compare the real estate markets of the two largest islands. We spent three years in a bargain “flat”. This place is Malta’s most remote settlement, iz-Zebbug. It was a beautiful place of 200 sqm, two bathrooms, three bedrooms, own internal elevator, huge balcony with jacuzzi with an exceptional view to Sicily and the Vesuvio. We paid 800 (utilities included), but the next tenant must leave now a monthly 1250 euro fee on the table.
Marsalforn, one bedroom on the 3rd floor without elevator, small but beautiful sea view: 190 euros.
And let’s go to trendy Xlendi, where many of my acquaintances are renting apartments. Those properties are not too brightly refurbished, but are not that bad:
One bedroom: 200 euros.
Two bedrooms: 250 euros
Newly built two-bedroom apartments can be found under 350 euros, perhaps in Sannat and Qala.
Utilities in Malta
You can ask anyone in Malta about the utility costs, and the answer will be 100 euros. No matter, how many people are living there, or how many heaters they use, the answer is always the same. The don’t even pay this amount.
If you want to know your exact costs, then you can find here an official utility calculator. In Malta, utility fee means the cost of electricity and water. There are three types of tariffs:
- Domestic (You are Maltese or have permanent residence permit)
- Non-residential (pays more)
A few extra info: the residential tariff is cheaper than the domestic. The residential tariff also depends on the number of people living in the property. You will find the number of people in the upper right corner of the bill. You can find here the utility prices by categories.
What matters is that if the counters are not registered under your name then pay attention to what you pay for.
If anything is missing from this Maltese rental market article, please let me know, and I complete it. If you would like to read more detailed information on other countries or immigration/integration related topics, then please follow me on:
It is also good to know that I am not a real estate agent. I help wealthy people (HNWIs) to solve their taxation and immigration related issues.
Copyright by Bence Zákonyi 2017 – Tucanoprod.com