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Buy a House in Malta - Property Lawyers in Malta

Purchase a Property in Malta

Updated on Wednesday 21st December 2022

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Purchase a property in Malta 
Foreigners choose to buy 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 can offer our assistance throughout the entire procedure, if you want to buy a house in Malta.
 

 Quick Facts  
Can expats buy properties in Malta? No restrictions are imposed for foreigners wanting to buy a property in Malta, except state-owned properties.

Legislation for property purchase in  Malta

- Immovable Property Act in Malta,

- Malta's Property Code and Regulations

Types of properties you can buy as a foreigner

- residencial properities,

- office spaces,

- villas,

- lands,

- hotels etc.

Property inspection before purchase (YES/NO)

Yes

Pre-sale agreement required  

A preliminary agreement, signed at a public notary, is mandatory for buying a property in Malta. This documents must be signed by parties involved in the transaction.

Documentation verification made by our law firm in Malta

Our Maltese lawyers can verify the documents of the property about to be purchased. Among them, the Title Deed, Land Register extracts, preliminary agreement.

Content of a sale-purchase contract of a property

- property information and description, with details about former and future owners,

- terms of acquisition,

- price,

- payment method,

- signatures

Real estate tax in Malta

- 8% tax rate for property sale in Malta,

- 5% tax rate for property acquisition

VAT for property purchase in Malta

No VAT imposed for sale and purchase of a property in Malta

Can a lawyer in Malta represent you with a power of attorney?

We can represent clients from abroad who want to buy a real estate property in Malta.

A power of attorney allows us to sign varied documents.

Possibility to buy without visiting Malta

Yes, property purchase is possible for overseas citizens without traveling to Malta.

Residence permit issued for buying property in Malta

Malta Residency and Visa Program are dedicated to foreigners who want to buy properties in this country in exchange for residence.

The minimum value of the property to enter the scheme is EUR 220,000.

Citizenship application permitted

Yes, through Malta Citizenship by Investment. Financial implication starts at EUR 600,000.

Buying a property in Malta through mortgage

Applicants can be helped by mortgage brokers. It is mandatory to open a bank account in Malta and then wait for the approval of the Maltese Central Bank for your loan.

Legal services offered for buying a property in Malta

- preparation of preliminary agreement,

- sale-purchase contract,

- real estate due diligence,

- power of attorney for clients from overseas

 

The main steps to buy a property in Malta

 

The Maltese real estate market 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, if you want to buy an apartment in Malta, for example.
 
Those who want to buy a property 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 you buy a house 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 property lawyers 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. Talk to us if you want to buy an apartment in Malta.

 

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 condominium lawyers in Malta can explain the eligibility conditions for each of them.
 
If you want to buy a property in Malta, we recommend that you talk to our local lawyers and discover the services offered in this regard. It is important that all the documents of the chosen property are checked from a legal point of view. We will also be able to help you with the preparation of the sale-purchase contract, where information about the seller and buyer, the price of the property, its description, and transaction details are mentioned. You have our support in this endeavor and if you cannot travel to Malta to sign the documents, we can represent you with power of attorney.
 

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 property lawyers in Malta can help you throughout the registration process. Contact us if you want to buy an apartment in Malta.
 

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 condominium lawyers in Malta, 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 property 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.
 

How to buy an apartment in Malta

 
If you want to buy a house in Malta, you should know that you have several possibilities at hand. You can call on the services of a real estate agent to help you find the desired home or you can collaborate with a real estate agency in Malta. You also have the opportunity to purchase from online platforms dedicated to the sale and purchase of a real estate in Malta. Here you can check according to the area, type of building, area, and other facilities. And you can also get in touch with the sellers of the respective properties.
 
You also have the opportunity to discover the ads for the sale of apartments, villas, houses, or condominiums in the area of interest, if you are traveling to Malta. But if it is for the first time or when you want to buy an apartment in Malta, it is recommended to collaborate with a specialist and ask for dedicated legal advice in the field. You will thus be able to have the security of a correct purchase, without complexities or complicated formalities. We remind you that you can talk to our property lawyers in Malta for more information about how to buy a house in Malta.
 

A short guide for foreigners - How to buy a house in Malta

 
Once you contact our condominium lawyers in Malta, you will be able to obtain all the necessary information for the purchase of a house from a legal point of view. We now go through the review and a small helpful guide, to give you a clear idea about the purchase of property in Malta:
 
  • The first thing you need to do is apply for AIP in Malta. The Maltese authorities will provide you with the necessary permit.
  • It is recommended to hire the services of a property lawyer in Malta to be able to make the necessary legal checks related to the house.
  • The next step is to look for the real estate property you wish for, either by calling an agent or searching on dedicated platforms.
  • Once you find the property you want, you can negotiate the price and talk to the seller. And here you can be helped by condominium lawyers in Malta.
  • After checks and negotiations, it is possible to sign a preliminary agreement with the help of which to establish the dates of the transaction.
  • Next is the payment of 10% of the value of the house in Malta, to ensure that you will come into possession of it.
  • The sale-purchase documents will be signed in front of the notary, following which they will also be submitted to the Land Registry in Malta.
  • Once the transfer of the rest of the money is done, the new owner can take possession of the house.
 
So, this is a small guide to buying a house in Malta. And as said earlier, it is necessary to contact our property lawyers in Malta. It is much easier to buy a house in Malta with specialized assistance.
 

Applying for a house loan in Malta

 
If you are thinking of taking a loan to be able to buy a house in Malta as a foreigner, you must take into account some formalities imposed by law. You must first obtain permission from the Maltese Central Bank, then open a bank account. It is necessary to conclude some insurance policies and to present bank statements and payslips for the mortgage application.
 
Some banks also ask for a preliminary agreement, if you have reached this stage of the process of buying a house, but it is not necessarily a rule.
 
It is also recommended to speak with condominium lawyers in Malta if you want to apply for a residential mortgage. The procedures can be complex for foreigners, so it is better to have legal advice throughout the procedures.
 

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 property lawyers in Malta can help you open a company in Malta. Please contact our attorneys in Malta for more information.