How to buy property in British favourite Malta

Published:  23 Mar at 6 PM
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The Mediterranean island of Malta is a British favourite retirement destination for its millennia of history, its natural beauty and its charming, affordable homes in the sun.

If you’re looking to Malta as your retirement haven, you’ll be following in the footsteps of the Romans, Moors, French and British over more than four thousand years. Famed for its association with the crusader Knights of Malta, lovers of tradition, historical buildings and an international ambience will feel right at home on this sunlit island. Property here is affordable, but there are rules which need to be conformed to when purchasing.

English is widely spoken on the island, but property laws here aren’t the same as in the UK. The first essential for those looking to buy a retirement home is the appointment of both a local lawyer and a notary. It’s best to choose a lawyer whose speciality is property transactions, as he/she will know the best way to get the job done within a reasonable time frame.

Foreign buyers will need to comply with a specific set of rules aimed at property ownership, transfer and subletting as it applies to foreigners taking residence on the island. As regards tracking down an impartial notary to deal with property deeds, using one who is recommended by or connected to a property developer or estate agent in not at all a good idea as impartiality cannot be assured. The same applies to your selection of a lawyer.

EU citizens purchasing a holiday home and keeping their main residence in their country of origin will need an Acquisition of Immovable Property Permit, given out by Malta’s Finance Ministry. The minimum purchase price for an apartment on the island is £84,231, and the minimum for a villa is £140,346. If you’re intending your purchase to be your main home, you’ll not need a permit.

Once your offer has been accepted, the process becomes similar to that in the UK. A three-month agreement between you and the seller allows time for relevant searches and the drawing up of documents. At this point, one per cent of the 5 per cent stamp duty plus a 10 per cent deposit is payable. Once the official deed is issued, the remainder of payments due can be made, including the one per cent notary fee.
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