Malta is a small Mediterranean island country with a few options of real estate. Foreigners are allowed to buy residential property, but there are several restrictions they must overcome. The actual process of buying real estate in Malta is very straightforward.
Attorneys and Real Estate Agents
It is recommended to hire an attorney for the process of buying real estate in Malta, though it is not necessary.
Real estate agents can be helpful in this procedure, but are also not necessary.
Rules, Regulations and Restrictions
There are several restrictions on the foreign ownership of property in Malta. Those who are not citizens of Malta or the EU, nor have been residing in Malta for the past 5 years, are required to apply for a permit to buy immovable property.
Foreigners are typically only allowed to buy property that they will reside in, whether seasonally or permanently. They are usually only allowed to own one piece of property. For some reason, they cannot lease out their property unless it has a pool. Foreigners are only allowed to buy real estate that costs over 50,000 MLT, and must pay for the real estate solely using money from outside the country. Buying commercial real estate is usually not possible.
The first step to buying real estate in Malta is to settle on a given property, and make an offer to the seller. Upon approval of this offer, a preliminary agreement should be drawn up, or a “promise of sale.” This must be signed by both parties in a notary public’s office. This promise of sale document should then be registered with the Inland Revenue Department within 21 days. This document should also state that this sale is conditional on the factor of the buyer obtaining the permit to buy immovable property.
The buyer should also put down a deposit of 10% of the final purchase price, which is usually retained at the notary public’s office. After the deposit is put down, the buyer should figure out the financing for paying the rest of the money to the seller.
After this, the seller must then do research to show that there is no confusion with the title of the property and that there are no hidden fees or contracts attached to it. Once all of this clears, a final deed of sale should be drawn up, and the notary should read it to both the buyer and seller. The buyer and seller must then sign this document in the presence of the notary. The remainder of the money should be transferred to the seller, and the buyer must also pay necessary duties and taxes. The notary can then publish the final deed.