PROPERTY OWNERSHIP IN MALTA
The acquisition of property in Malta by Third Country Nationals is regulated by the Immovable Property (Acquisition by Non-residents) Act. This piece of legislation defines the conditions for purchasing a property.
CONDITIONS FOR PURCHASING IMMOVABLE PROPERTY IN MALTA
Individuals who are not citizens of a European Member state may not acquire any immovable property unless they are granted a permit in terms of the law. This does not apply to spouses of the Member States or Maltese citizens.
However, certain exemptions to obtaining a permit exist. There are defined zones in Mata, referred to as special designated areas, where there are absolutely no restrictions to acquisition. These are:
Portomaso Marina Development, St. Julian’s, Malta;
Portomaso Extension I, St Julian’s, Malta;
Mercury Tower, St. Julian’s, Malta
Pender Place, St. Julian’s, Malta;
Tigne Point, Tignè, Malta;
Fort Cambridge Zone, Tignè, Malta;
Madliena Village Complex, Malta;
Metropolis Plaza, Gzira, Malta;
Tas-Sellum Residence, Mellieha, Malta;
Southridge, Mellieha, Malta;
Cottonera Development, Cottonera, Malta;
Ta’ Monita Residence, Marsascala, Malta;
Fort Chambray, Ghajnsielem, Gozo;
Kempinski Residences, San Lawrenz, Gozo;
Vista Point Complex, Marsalforn, Gozo
There is also no restriction on acquisition through inheritance and there are also several other special exemptions.
There is a minimum price for the purchase of immovable property based on location and type of property and this baseline may vary from time to time.
Property cannot be rented out unless situated in Designated Special Areas or one obtains a permit.
As a non-resident, one is allowed to purchase only one immovable property in Malta unless it is situated in a Designated Special Areas.
Immovable property is to be used for residential purposes.
A copy of the notarial deed (legally binding document) is to be submitted to the AIP section after its publication that the immovable property may not be sold in part, or otherwise into more than one dwelling house.
ACQUISITION BY BODIES OF PERSONS
A body of persons, other than a commercial partnership, established in and operating from a European Union member state may freely acquire immovable property that is required for the purpose for which it has been set up as long as it is directly controlled by citizens of a European Union member state. A commercial partnership established in and operating from a European Union member state (therefore including Malta) may freely acquire immovable property that is required for the purpose for which it has been set up and at least 75% of its share capital is held by a person (or persons) who is a European Union Member state citizen. Any other body of persons will require a permit which is only granted if the property is required for an industrial or touristic project or as a contributor to the development of the economy of Malta.
All applicants need to:
Fill the AIP application form completely.
Produce a copy of the promise of sale or preliminary agreement of the immovable property being acquired, if entered into.
First-time applicants need to:
Fill in AIP application form completely.
Produce a copy of the promise of sale, which is checked by a solicitor, and decides whether or not the TCN may apply for an AIP permit.
Produce two passport size photographs and a photocopy of the applicant’s particulars.
Application is received by the department.
A police check is carried out on the applicant.
Once the application is vetted, a letter will be sent to the applicant or his representative that the application has been approved and is ready for collection.
Once the fee of €232.94 is paid the permit is issued and is valid for six months.
Within the period of 6 months, the applicant must enter into a deed of sale with the property seller.
Applicants who already owned Immovable Property need to:
Produce a copy of the deed of sale of previous immovable property.
Limited liability companies who apply for a permit need to:
Produce Memorandum and Articles of Association of the company.
Give details of shareholding directors.
Produce evidence showing that the purpose of the company is for the development of the economy of Malta.
When the application is approved, the applicant or mandatory will be informed by a notice. The applicant will then be issued with a permit against payment of €232.94. The applicant may then enter into a contractual agreement to buy the immovable property.
Expenses involved in the purchase of a property are:
Duty on documents: 5% of the value of property payable in two stages: 1% with the signing of the preliminary agreement which must now be registered with the Inland Revenue to have validity, and 4% with the publication of the final deed.
Legal Fees: 1% (approximately) of the purchase price payable in two stages: 33% with the signing of the preliminary agreement and 67% with the publication of the final deed.
Other fees are due for the researches into title, liabilities, etc.
A fee of €232.94 for the Acquisition of Immovable Property (AIP), a Government permit which a non-resident, who wishes to acquire property in Malta, must obtain. On finding a property through the services of a Registered Estate Agency, then brokerage fees are normally due by the seller.
Last updated on June 2014
Disclaimer: This information has been referenced from the Government Website (https://integration.gov.mt/en/Pages/Home.aspx).While the authority endeavours to present the most current information, please consult a government authority, notary, legal or tax professional for legal advice.