A coalition of NGOs and groups has called for updates to Malta’s rental laws so as to tackle the problem of exorbitant rent prices.
“The sudden and continuing hike in rent prices is pushing thousands of persons into precariousness, hitting hardest those on low and medium wages and pensions as well as persons in vulnerable situations such as women experiencing domestic violence,” the NGOs said in a reaction to a proposed rent reform law.
“Thus, much more will have to be done if Government is to achieve its objective, as set out in the White Paper, of making rent a housing alternative.”
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat presides over the launch of the Rent Reform
Posted by MaltaGov on Wednesday, June 26, 2019
The rent reform bill, which was unanimously approved during Parliament’s second reading yesterday, allows landlords to set their own rent prices but caps annual rent increases at 5%.
It also requires landlords to grant tenants access to their electricity billing accounts and to provide them with at least three months notice before evicting them. Moreover, all rental agreements will have to be registered with the Housing Authority.
While the NGOs (listed below) endorsed the bill in principle, they said that it should go a step further.
They proposed tagging rent prices to a Rent Value Index, that would list the value of rent in different areas and for different classes of property according to their size and quality. According to the proposal, the initial rental price should not exceed 10% of the price listed for that particular category within the Rent Value Index.
The NGOs who endorsed this statement are aditus Foundation, African Media Association Malta, Alleanza Kontra il-Faqar, Forum Komunita’ Bormliża, Integra Foundation, Isles of the Left, Koperattiva Kummerċ Ġust, Malta Gay Rights Movement, Malta Humanists Association, Malta Tenant Support, Mid-Dlam għad-Dawl, Moviment Graffitti, Platform of Human Rights Organisations in Malta (PHROM), SOS Malta, Spark 15, The Critical Institute, The Millennium Chapel, Third World Group Malta, Women’s Rights Foundation, and Żminijietna – Voice of the Left.