7 Key Insights into the Rental Market Experience in Malta

The Housing Authority has published an extensive study as part of its dedication to explore the diverse dynamics of the Maltese Rental Market. This study, in particular, seeks to comprehensively understand the demographic and socio-economic nature of tenants and landlords in Malta and the nature of the relationship between them. While the authority has already published a wide array of research about this sector, this study is based on the direct stories and experiences of tenants and landlords themselves and is intended to gauge their satisfaction and awareness levels following the introduction of the rent reform in 2020.

The study involved the collection of primary data from tenants and landlords using computer-assisted telephone interviews. A total of 800 participants, consisting of 400 tenants and 400 landlords, were surveyed, drawn at random from the residential rent registry. The study is co-authored by economists from the Housing Authority, the University of Malta, and the Central Bank of Malta.

Here are 7 Key Insights from the study.

1. Around 97% of landlords are Maltese

The average age of landlords in Malta exceeds that of the general population and almost a third are retired. Landlords aged over 50 years manage two-thirds of the residential rental stock.

2. The median gross rental income for all landlords stood at €12,000

Four out of ten landlords own only one property. Renting is a part-time endeavour for four out of five landlords.

3. Only 10% of tenants are Maltese

The average age of the tenant population stood at around 37 years. Nine out of ten tenants are active in the labour market.

4. Both landlords and tenants prefer a 1- year contract duration

However, around a third of respondents are in favour of longer-term contracts, in particular two and three-years contracts.

5. Tenants tend to report higher levels of satisfaction

Tenants tend to report higher levels of satisfaction than landlords with the services offered by the Housing Authority, by real estate agents and especially by the way they feel their rights are being protected. On the other hand, there was no difference in the level of satisfaction with the rent received and paid when comparing landlords and tenants.

6. Majority of landlords intend to renew contract with current tenants.

Around 3 out of every 4 landlords stated they were highly likely to renew the rental contract with current tenants. A similar percentage of tenants expressed their wish to renew their contract with their present landlord.

7. Tenants are less knowledgeable about their legal rights than Landlords

Awareness about the Residential Leases Act is mixed but in general higher among landlords. In general, respondents were aware about the obligations surrounding utility bills, wear and tear, and lease renewal. On the other hand, there is considerable confusion about the legal duration of shared spaces contracts and the possibility to raise rents in a new contract. Respondents are also unaware of the need to use registered letter for contract termination. The lack of knowledge of basic aspects of the residential leases act signals a potential to improve communication.