Wednesday 18 October 2017
Valetta Legal EMD Advocates
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Property law in Malta

Buying a property is an important deal and transaction. It’s not like buying a new pair of shoes, therefore it is vital to study the laws and regulations around real estate before proceeding with the purchase.

Lack of information can be a big huge problem causing several complications that can make the purchase nothing but a pleasure.

So what should a purchaser think of?

A purchase should always check the title deeds. A defect in title caused fraudulently is a serious problem! If the owner is a company it is also vital to be cautious as the risk of clearing the title might be complicated and only after the necessary independent checks can the legal title over the property be determined.

It’s also important to check whether the property might be subject to a warrant: When a credit institution has acquired a decision against the property owner (the seller), the creditor might have registered a lien over the property which remains in effect against the new property owner.

A property can also be legally loaded by a number of property rights, including the right of a third party window, a right of passage or even the right to access or use you roof for a water tank or antenna, etc.

It’s also useful to check if a property in a certain area is allowed to be sublet for foreigners holding the type of residence permit you have.

How the property is build and structured might not be equivalent to the regulations. Even if the law offers protection in cases of hidden flaws, it’s a headache having problems with your house after buying it.  
 
Summarizing above you should guarantee that you're buying a structurally rigorous property that has a spotless legal title, planning permits in order, and aware of any rights or defects coming with the property.
 
So having above in mind we highly recommend firstly that you understand the parties involved, their interests, who represents who the relevant authorities that can help you

The Notary Public  - is a public officer entrusted with the registration of public deeds such as the purchase and sale of immovable property.  He is an neutral party in the agreement and should not advise any of the parties.  Bear in mind that the Notary is obligated to disclose all facts concerning the property so if you suspect any defect or irregularity don’t hesitate to ask for all information involved with the property. As an ingrained protection, the law allows the Buyer to appoint the notary, and Buyers are strongly instructed not to use the seller or estate agent's notary.  
Other involved part is the Estate Agent’s whose interest is to sell the property. Also note that the real estate profession is not regulated in Malta and it is not unnoticed that estate agents were drawn to sell at all costs and have overseen any defects regarding the property.

Both the seller and the buyer are permitted to legal representation. Your lawyer's role is to protect and impose your interests. What you should have in mind is the process of choosing a lawyer is that the lawyer of you choice should be specialized or have experience in property transactions and immigration law.  A good lawyer will surely prevent you from purchasing a property you will regret of and will offer you solutions that points any involved defects or obstacles.

To find a lawyer specialized in property law click here.

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