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Purchase a Property in Malta

Purchase a Property in Malta

Updated on Tuesday 08th December 2020

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Purchase_a_property_in_Malta.jpg.jpgMalta is one of the islands that attract tourists every year due to the beauty of the Mediterranean Sea. The island country is attractive not only as a touristic destination, but also as a business location. Foreigners choose to purchase a property in Malta both for their own personal use and as the headquarters for their business in Malta.  
 
Our lawyers in Malta are ready to offer you the necessary assistance to find the perfect property for your needs. We can assist both local and foreign citizens and companies purchase various types of properties in Malta. We will offer our assistance throughout the entire procedure.

The main steps when buying a property in Malta

 

Malta is a very safe country to buy a property in; also, the real estate market here has developed at a quite fast pace and the offer is quite rich for those who want to buy various types of properties. However, there are a few steps which need to be completed before and after the purchase has been completed.
 
Those who want to buy real estate in Malta should:
 
  1. ask for the services of a real estate agency in the case of foreign buyers who are not acquainted with the market;
  2. verify the property first – this implies a real estate due diligence process during which the property is checked with various institutions;
  3. reach an agreement with the seller and sign a pre-sale contract by paying an advance on the property;
  4. complete the purchase of the property and register it with the Maltese Land Register.
It is useful to know that the purchase of real estate in Malta can be completed quite quickly, as the steps above are easy and simple to follow. With the help of our Maltese law firm, one can have the entire purchase procedure handled through a power of attorney. If you are interested in buying a property and immigrating to another European country, such as Georgia or Czech Republic, we can put you in touch with our local partners.

 

Due diligence before buying a property in Malta

 

Before buying a property in Malta, it is recommended that you perform a real estate due diligence. This will guarantee that your investment is safe and that you will not encounter any problems during the purchase process. Our lawyers in Malta recommend starting this procedure immediately after signing the preliminary agreement.
 
As mentioned above, it is very important to verify a property before buying it. Even if this step is not mandatory as real estate properties in Malta are usually safe, the future owner might want to check if the property about to buy is suitable for his/her needs. This is where due diligence is helpful. When it comes to commercial real estate purchases, the real estate verification is even more important and recommended in order to see if the property suits the interest and, in some cases, the expansion plans of the company about to buy it.
 
Our attorneys in Malta can handle all the aspects of a legal real estate due diligence procedure and present a full report on the property you are interested in acquiring. We can perform checks with the Land Register and with the Malta tax authorities in order to make sure the property you chose is free of any encumbrances.

 

Foreign citizens buying real estate in Malta

 

It is important to note that in the case of foreign citizens from non-EU countries buying properties in Malta an additional step should be completed. This implies for the buyer to obtain an Acquisition of Immovable Property (AIP) permit from the Ministry of Finance in Malta. The minimum value of the property to be acquired must be around 70,000 euros in the case of apartments and around 117,000 euros in the case of other real estate properties in order to be granted the AIP. Another requirement is for the foreign buyer to be able to prove the funds have been transferred from abroad.
 
The other conditions for buying real estate in Malta as a non-EU citizen is for the property to be used by the buyer and their family (the property cannot be rented to third parties). However, non-EU citizens are also welcomed to buy real estate in special designated areas. Among these, Tigne Project, Portomaso, Gozo, Charmai and Cottonera Waterfront. Non-EU citizens can also purchase real estate in Malta through one of the residence programs enabled by the government. If you are interested in these programs, our lawyers in Malta can explain the eligibility conditions for each of them.
 

The procedure of purchasing a property in Malta

 
When looking for a property, the buyer needs to search for specific locations and buildings that will fulfill all his requirements. Preparation is important and although the process may take some time, with the right help, it does not have to be stressful. Real estate agencies can advise and help you find the best real estate options in Malta.
 
The first step when buying a property in Malta is agreeing the price and signing a preliminary agreement with the seller. By signing this agreement, both parties undertake to complete the purchase transaction in due time. A deposit is usually requested when the preliminary agreement is signed. The percentage may vary, but a usual amount is 10% of the property’s price.
 
A notary in Malta will then draw up all the necessary documents and he will verify if the property is ready to be sold (the property must not have debts or mortgages). The buyer may need to complete certain forms and obtain legal permits, if it is necessary and if it is stipulated in the preliminary agreement.
 
The final deed is signed at a date agreed upon by both parties. This is usually done in front of a notary. According to the Maltese law, the owner will have to register the property at the Lands Registry within 15 days after signing the final deed. The registration is mandatory, even if the property was previously registered. Our Maltese lawyers can help you throughout the registration process.
 

Registering the property after the purchase

 

The final step after buying a property in Malta is to register it with the Land Register. This step must be completed by the new owner and implies filing the proof of buying the property in order to obtain a new property deed. Those who need assistance when buying a property in Malta can rely on the support of our lawyers, including representation in the relation with the public notary and the seller.
 

Obtaining residency in Malta

 
The ordinary residence in Malta can be obtained by EU and non-EU citizens who purchase or rent a property in the country, without a minimum threshold. There are specific regulations that must be respected in order to gain residency in Malta. The Global Residence Programme refers to applicants who can purchase a property with a value of a maximum EUR 275,000. This program comes with a series of benefits, like gaining the permanent residence and being levied with a 15% tax rate on incomes registered outside and declared in the insular state. All the legal aspects of residency programmes available in Malta can be discussed with one of our lawyers in Malta, with experience in immigration.
 

Purchasing a property as a retire in Malta

 
Persons who want to retire to Malta can benefit from excellent standards of living, a reasonable tax regime, and great prices for properties for sale or rent. The Malta Retirement Programme is available to EU, EEA, and Swiss nationals who purchase properties of at least EUR 275,000 or rent one for approximately EUR 9,000/year. Besides buying a property in Malta as a foreigner, there are other conditions that must be respected, like having medical insurance, a pension registered in Malta, and not staying outside Malta for more than 183 days. Buying a property in Malta as a foreigner is not a complicated process, yet it is best to have legal support from a Maltese lawyer.
 

FAQ about property purchase in Malta

 
1. How can I buy a property in Malta?
The real estate agencies in Malta are quite helpful to create an idea about properties and prices. A Maltese lawyer will help you with the formalities for purchasing a property in Malta.
 
2. What is a pre-sale contract for a property in Malta?
The pre-sale contract is needed for advanced payments of property in Malta. This is an important step in a real estate transaction.
 
3. Do I need real estate due diligence in Malta?
Yes, real estate due diligence in Malta is recommended prior to the purchase of a property. Through this process, a property is entirely verified. Some errors or problems can be revealed by a real estate due diligence report. Our Maltese lawyers can offer such services. Buying a property in Malta as a foreigner is quite easy.
 
4. Who registers the property acquisition in Malta?
The Maltese Land Register is the institution that oversees the real estate transactions in Malta. All properties are registered with this institution. Our lawyers in Malta can make verifications with the Land Register before signing the pre-sale contract.
 
5.  What is the AIP?
AIP is the Acquisition of Immovable Property permit in Malta, issued by the Ministry of Finance. This permit is issued for buying a property in Malta as a foreigner. All the legal implications for property purchase in Malta can be explained by one of our specialists.
 
6. How much is the advance payment for a property in Malta?
In most cases, a payment of 10% of the property price is requested. This payment is made at the time the pre-sale contract is signed.
 
7. Can foreign seniors purchase a property in Malta?
Yes, retirement programmes are available for seniors who want to retire to Malta. They can rent or purchase properties without restrictions.
 
8. What is the main condition for selling a property in Malta?
First of all, a property in Malta must not be subject to mortgages or debts. A real estate due diligence procedure can reveal such aspects, yet it is best to solve these problems prior to any kind of transaction. Buying a property in Malta as a foreigner is a simple process.
 
9.  How do I buy an apartment in Malta?
Hiring the services of a public notary alongside a Maltese lawyer is important. You need to obtain the AIP and then to make the advance payment for the chosen property. Our specialists can assist you throughout the real estate transaction.
 
10. Can I ask for legal services in Malta if I purchase a property?
Yes, it is mandatory to have the support of a Maltese immigration lawyer with experience in real estate transactions. Feel free to discuss all the legal aspects with us.
 
Hiring the services of a law firm in Malta is important to real estate transactions, whether as a buyer or as a seller of a property in the insular state. Our customers can rely on complete professionalism, proficiency, transparency, and knowledge when deciding to work with us. We have experience in a wide range of real estate transactions and we can represent our clients with a power of attorney. Feel free to send your inquiries and solicit our legal help if you would like to know all the aspects about how to buy a property as a foreigner in Malta.
 

Various aspects related to buying Maltese real estate

 

No matter the type of property one intends to buy, there are various aspects which need to be considered. Among these:
 
  • upon the signing of the pre-sale agreement, a 10% advance payment is usually made in order to retain the property;
  • 1% of the value of the property must be paid to the public notary as a stamp duty when buying the property;
  • the other 4% of the stamp duty must be paid after completing the purchase (no later than 15 days after buying the property);
  • the value added tax for real estate transactions in Malta is set at 18%;
  • a real estate agent fee representing 3.5% of the value of the contract should also be paid (if the buyer used such services).
 
Our law firm in Malta offers complete assistance for various legal procedures. Our Maltese lawyers can help you open a company in Malta. Please contact our attorneys in Malta for more information.