Roderick Galdes /DOI

Landlords will no longer be able to register more than six individuals living in one unit, Government has announced.

This legal amendments were announced on Friday (today) by the Minister for Social and Affordable Accommodation Roderick Galdes.

“Three years ago, we implemented a reform without precedence in the leasing sector. Today, we are presenting new legal amendments that offer more stability,” Minister Galdes explained.

This new law comes into force after years of reports, even from foreign nationals, of unbearable living conditions. Some shared on social media images of houses and apartments crowded with a lot of tenants, with some cases of multiple third country nationals (TCNs) sharing one room together.

Other landlords even advertised multiple bunk beds available for individuals to rent a room, when the housing unit’s kitchen and bathroom facilities were not equipped for such a high volume of tenants.

In addition to this new regulation, the Minister also announced an amendment through which the Housing Authority will be permitted to hand out administrative fines, up to €2,329, in cases of infringement such as unregistered contracts.

“If the landlord does not cooperate with the authority and therefore is not conforming to the law in a short period of time, then the tenant has to face the Court of Magistrates and can be fined for up to €10,000,” he added.

On the other hand, Housing Authority CEO, Matthew Zerafa remarked that such amendments will ensure a good relationship between landlords and tenants.

“We are now ensuring that the leasing industry offers opportunities of dignified living and stability of Maltese families,” Mr Zerafa concluded.

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