New expat arrivals in Malta deliberately overcharged for utilities

Published:  11 Jun at 6 PM
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Tagged: Property Abroad
Expats living in Malta and using pre-paid electricity meters are being illegally overcharged.

According to the EU Nationals Advisory Group, a good number of expats on Malta with pre-paid meters are now being charged in excess for their electricity. The regulatory body has informed head of the advisory group Patricia Graham that current legislation disallows electricity sub-metering as well as pre-paid meters. Each unit, according to Graham, has to be billed and metered by Enemalta, with charges calculated via 10.47c for first until, followed by 12.98c and 16.07c per unit. Some clients are paying as much as 40.27c for each unit.

According to the Times Malta newspaper, a meeting has taken place between group members, real estate agents and financial services companies, during which attendees were urged to pass on the information to newly-arrived expats planning on settling on the island. The group itself is a free, non-profit service for expat tenants and landlords needing help or non-legal advice on matters connected with a stay in Malta.

On a previous occasion, the group was involved in bringing a court case on behalf of expat EU nationals being overcharging on their utility bills via ARMS’s two-tier pricing policy. The group won, meaning expat residents without Maltese ID cards can now apply for residential rates previously only available to Maltese nationals. In spite of the court ruling, landlords are still refusing to sign the form necessary for expat tenants to apply for local rates.

In answer, the group are now sending out a pack giving full details of applying via email, getting an acknowledgement receipt, as well as advice on checking and listing every item in the rental property in order to avoid overcharging for damage they didn’t cause. According to Graham, settling in Malta is now so difficult many expat arrivals are giving up and leaving for a different destination.
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