Malta has been gaining popularity the last few years – and it’s not just because of its beautiful scenery. Malta’s become a cultural mecca and a growing economic hot spot, too. So if you’re looking into going to Malta for commerce or trade, now’s the best time for it.
Property Rent Tips – Malta
If you’re going to stay in Malta for quite some time, it’ll be practical to rent a house or apartment instead of staying in a pricey hotel. Finding a great property for rent in Malta is quite easy, too. Check out these tips on how to maximize your stay:
Go by location
It’s a commonly accepted universal fact that your place of work should be near and accessible to your place of stay. Less travel time is beneficial to everyone, especially since in the business world, time is money. So if you’re looking to rent an apartment in Malta (and price is not an issue), get a place that’s the most convenient for you when you’re traveling to and from work.
The only downside to this strategy is that depending on the city you’re going to, you might end up having to fight for accommodations with tourists. Valletta, for example, is the country’s capital; it’ll always be popular to foreigners. You might be hard-pressed in finding a place to stay especially during peak season.
The best way to go about this is to book early. Anticipate tourist season and book your reservations as early as you can manage.
Go by price
Price is always a parameter in everything. If that’s the case, you can always rent an apartment that will fit your budget. After all, you will be renting a place for days, possibly weeks.
The great thing about this is that Malta is a small country that traveling to and from different cities is not as cumbersome as you might think. For example: Valletta, the capital and top commercial city of Malta, has the highest cost of living compared to the rest of the country. This means that if you rent a place within Valletta, you can expect it to be pricier compared to other places outside it. So, if you’re going to work there and you’re on a tight budget, it’s a better idea to rent an apartment in Sliema instead. Sliema is just 19 minutes away from Valletta and it has cheaper accommodations.
Go by finish
You can also try to rent an apartment in Malta by how it is finished. This could mean bare, semi-furnished, or fully-furnished or finished.
The finish of an apartment relates to how fully equipped in furniture and amenities or appliances it is. Bare means just that – it’s an empty apartment space. A fully-furnished apartment will have everything you’ll need to live in the property for an extended period. A semi-furnished apartment will have most of the necessities, such as tables and chairs, but might lack some creature comforts that you might want, such as a microwave or a coffeemaker.
The trick here is to judge your choice of accommodation by the length and nature of your stay in Malta. Will you just be in town for a few days for a business meeting or conference? You can probably go with a semi-furnished space. Will you be staying for a month or so, but will be leaving again afterwards? Perhaps getting a fully-furnished apartment will be best, so you won’t have to worry about getting the furniture and appliances you’ll need during your stay. Or will you be staying the long term, for years? You could go either bare or fully-furnished, depending on your preference and budget.
Once you’re clear about what you want in an apartment, it’s time to go through the renting process.
Step 1 – Shortlist prospects
Check real estate websites and look for apartments that are suitable to your needs. You can also talk to real estate companies to help you rent an apartment in Malta.
Make sure to go over each description thoroughly, and always read the fine print. A lot of properties that are listed as “apartment” are actually converted shops and offices. Avoid these properties as they do not have important amenities like kitchens and sinks. They’re also not registered as “residential properties”, and that can result in problems later on.
Step 2 – Get Updated Pictures
Pictures on the internet can be deceiving, so it’s important to do ocular inspections before renting a place. This is all well and good if you’ll be traveling to Malta from a nearby country, but if you’ll be flying from miles away, your next best move is to ask for updated pictures and videos of the place.
Especially if you’ll be browsing from a website, the posted pictures of the rented space might be outdated. They might have been taken when the area was first built or furnished, when in fact the place is already years old.
Contact the owner/lessor/real estate agent and ask for recent pictures or a video walk-through. You can ask that they include a copy of the latest newspaper in the photo or video to ensure that the file they’ll be sending you is indeed up to date.
Here are the things to need to look for:
- Floor – Look for signs of disrepair. If the area has carpets, they must be clean.
- Walls – Check the walls carefully and see if there are stains or signs of mold. Check if the wallpaper is peeling.
- Windows and Doors – Make sure that the windows and doors close and open properly, especially the locks.
- Electricity – Check the switches and bulbs to see if they work.
- HVAC – Malta is hot during the summer time and it can get cold during the winter time. Make sure the thermostat works.
- Bathrooms – Check the faucets, see if there are any leaks. Check if there’s hot and cold option. Also, check the toilet and see if it flushes.
- Fire Safety – The smoke detectors should work and the apartment building should have a fire extinguisher and a fire exit.
- Kitchen – Make sure the kitchen is spotless. Check if the appliances work (if the apartment is furnished).
- The neighborhood culture – See if the neighbors play loud music or party every weekend. You can also check if the neighborhood allows pets.
- Parking – See if the apartment building has sufficient parking space.
- Accessibility – You can check this online. Check out the neighborhood and see if there’s a hospital, pharmacy, convenience store, market, school, and church nearby.
- Appliances – Make sure each appliance works.
Lastly, see if there are signs of pests. You do not want an apartment with cockroaches and rats running around. It’s also important to take note of cracks or any sign damage; you can use them as bargaining chips when you negotiate the terms of the contract.
Step 3 – Negotiate the Contract
Before you sign anything, make sure that it’s clear what the costs you’ll pay as a lessee. Are you going to pay for the utility bills or is it included in the rent? Who pays for repairs?
Also, you have to ask the lessor the terms of potential rent increase. The lessor should give you at least two months’ notice before they implement the rent increase. The contract must also include the allowable rent increase percentage so that there are no surprises. Also, make sure that the term of the lease is well-defined.
Most of all, make sure that the security deposit is refundable.
Step 4 – Review the offers from lessors
If you get multiple offers from different lessors, review each contract. Read the terms thoroughly before making the choice. It’s best to consult with a “letting consultant” to make sure that the contract is favorable to you.
Bear in mind that Malta usually charges 18% value added tax that’s evenly divided between the tenant and the landlord.
Step 5 – Sign the lease
When you finally agree with the terms, it’s time to sign the contract and make it official. Some agencies can do this online, using an electronic legal document.
Finding an amazing property for rent in Malta is not as hard as you think. You just have to be resourceful. You can check the internet and see a lot of prospects or you can talk to property rental companies that can help you get the best out of your money.