Fiscal incentives for landlords – PM

Prime Minister and Partit Laburista (PL) leader Joseph Muscat said that landlords that long-let their property without excessively increasing their rent, will be given a fiscal incentive from the government.

Muscat said this during a recorded interview which was transmitted on Sunday on the PL’s radio station, in which he also touched on the situtaion in the construction sector, and the significance of the new Malta Business Registry offices inaugurated in Żejtun.

Back to the rental reform, Joseph Muscat said that every rental will from now on require a contract as currently there are a number of rentals that are not supported by a paper trial. He described the situation as a jungle where everyone does as they please.

The Prime Minister explained that now the rental contract may be registered by the landlord or the renter and that severe fines will be incurred by those who rent their property without a contract, and that the contract will be registered on block chain for further transparency. Such contract has to be made for a minimum of 12 months and should state the correct amount of the rent that is being charged. A landlord is now also obliged to inform an increase in rent from three months prior.

Muscat added that the government prefers to collaboration to punishment and therefore, landlords will be given incentives to acquire long-term rental contracts. He also added that those landlords stipulating two or three year contracts will be given a “gift”.

The Construction sector

Touching on the construction sector, Muscat lauded the Kamra tal-Periti for describing the current situation in the sector as being in crisis, and said that the rules that the government has now put in place simply to emphasise that such rules should have been stipulated way back.

He explained that one of the most contentious points was the issue of the site technical officer (STO) and added that this individual does not necessarily have to be an architect but could also be an engineer that feels that is adequately qualified. Muscat also added that work had resumed on 400 construction sites up until last Friday.

The Prime Minister also discussed the new offices housing the Malta Business registry in Żejtun which allows for the creation of jobs other than the industrial ones with which the south is usually synonymous with.