Writing an end of tenancy letter for a property in Valletta
As from 1st January 2020, the new private residential leases act came into force, changing the way rental property contracts are managed in Valletta and throughout Malta.
In this guide, we provide information about the new system, the types of lease available, their costs, samples of documentation, and giving notice to a tenant.
From now on, all rentals must be registered on the new government portal. This includes all new tenancies from 1st January 2020, renewals of contracts made after 1st June 1995 and those still in operation by 1st January 2021. Registrations will be managed and monitored under this new system, with all landlord and tenant disputes handled by the correct department within the Housing Authority where necessary.
Short-term private residential leases
A short-term lease for a Valletta property covers a term of fewer than 6 months, and in regard of:
· Non-resident workers employed over a short term, for specific projects and employment contracts
· Non-resident students enrolled in courses or placements for less than 6 months
· Residents who need somewhere to live as an alternative to their primary residence, but for a term of less than 6 months
· Non-residents who need somewhere to live for less than 6 months, providing they were not looking to establish a long-term residence in Malta
A short-term lease must specify which category the tenant falls into, and provide proof of the situation. The tenant (or lessee) may not withdraw from the contract within the first month of the lease but may withdraw at any time after that giving 1-week’s notice, by registered letter.
Long-term private residential leases
A long-term lease must provide a contract for a minimum duration of one year.
The tenant (lessee) may not withdraw from the tenancy until the following time has passed for each instance:
· 6-months for a lease of 2 years
· 9-months for a lease of 2–3 years
· 12-months for a lease of over 3 years
If a tenant withdraws without fulfilling the above periods, the landlord is entitled to retain 1-month’s rent from the lessee’s security deposit.
Registration of lease contracts for Valletta properties
All private residential contracts must be registered with the Housing Authority. Any lease that isn’t registered is null and void. The duty of registration is the responsibility of the lessor. They must carry out the registration within 10 days of the start of the contract. Where the lessor fails to register the contract, the lessee may register the contract at the expense of the lessor.
Valletta registration fees
· €10 – Registration fee
· €120 – Late registration fee
· €5 – Re-registration renewal or lease extension fee
· €0 – Rolling automatic lease renewal fee
Lease agreements must be in writing and include:
· A description of the property
· The agreed use
· Period of the contract
· Extensions and renewals
· Rents and payments
· The deposit
· A full photographic inventory
Sample documents for lease registration
· Sample inventory document
Terminating a residential lease contract in Valletta
The contract between a lessor and lessee will be terminated via the website, yet, a tenancy resignation letter must be sent from the withdrawing party conforming to the appropriate notice period.
Termination of tenancy agreement by landlord
The lessor must give a minimum of 3-months’ notice by registered letter to terminate the tenancy. Without supplying the full 3-month’s notice, the contract will automatically renew for another year. It’s sufficient for the lessor to show the proof that the letter was sent for it to be legally binding.
There isn’t a sample letter, giving a tenant notice in Valletta on the Housing Authority website, but it must be sent via registered post and include all relevant dates, parties’ names and addresses.
Termination of tenancy agreement by tenant
The tenant is bound by the limits of the contract duration (as mentioned earlier), but once they have fulfilled that obligation, they can withdraw at any time, as long as they provide the following notice period:
· 1-month’s notice for a lease period of fewer than 2 years
· 2-months’ notice for a lease period of 2 to 3 years
· 3-months’ notice for a lease period of over 3 years
With the tenant notice to landlord (for Valletta) covered, the letter must be sent by registered post, including the main points of contact and dates of action. Again, there is no housing or apartment rental termination letter sample provided on the website, but it should contain the names and addresses of all parties and the dates of the tenancy termination and that of the withdrawal letter.
Enforcement of issues
Where issues or problems arise in conjunction with the terms in the lease contract or the well-being of the property, the Housing Authority has an adjudication panel that holds exclusive jurisdiction over any dispute not exceeding €5,000. The panel consists of a chairperson and between 2 and 4 professionals with knowledge and expertise in the property industry.
Claims must be made within 2 months from the lease expiration date, and the opposite party has 10 working days to respond to the complaint. The Housing Authority has a right to inspect the property to make sure both the lessor and lessee are conforming to the elements outlined in the lease.
Additional assistance with lease contracts in Valletta
There is an abundance of information about the registration system (supplied in a selection of languages) available from the Housing Authority website, to make the process as simple as possible for both the lessor and lessee. If at any point you require more detail or answers to specific questions, operatives are waiting to hear from you. If you need any assistance creating any correspondence, for example, a letter from landlord to tenant ending tenancy in Valletta, then all of the information is available from the Government Housing Authority team. You can phone for general assistance (on +356 2299 1010) or make an appointment to help with registering a contract.
Alternatively, you can email them on firstname.lastname@example.org
You can even liaise with them through Facebook.