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The ultimate guide to finding an apartment or room for rent in Malta

If you talk to people about renting a flat in Malta, it often sounds like a nightmare: From mouldy and run-down apartments to landlords who want to rip you off when it comes to utilities or returning the deposit. A lot of these stories are true, but true is also that a lot of these problems could have been prevented in the first place. Our guide will show you how to rent a flat or a room in Malta without any hassle.

The requirements: Make sure you know what you need

The first step to successfully finding a new flat in Malta is to think about what you want and can afford. Answer our below-listed questions to narrow down your search criteria:

  • What is your monthly budget?
  • What is your preferred type of property?
  • When do you need to move in?
  • Do you want to live on your own or in a shared flat?
  • Are you looking for a short-term or long-term rental contract?
  • In which area do you want to live?

If you already know the answers to these questions you can skip this paragraph and continue here to find a flat or here to find a room in a shared flat.

Your monthly budget: Minimum 400 € for a room and 700 € for a flat

Most people spend between 20-50% of their monthly net income on rent. You should not spend more as you still need something to live off and enjoy the island life. Your monthly budget will greatly influence in which area of Malta you can live and what kind of finish your new apartment will have.

Your minimum budget for a room in the most popular areas like Sliema, St. Julians and Swieqi, should be 400 Euros, better 500 Euros excluding utilities. The cheapest one-bedroom apartments in the same area start around 700 Euros.

In less popular areas it is possible to find cheaper rooms and flats or properties with a significantly better finish for the same price.

What is your property type?

What kind of property you prefer really comes down to your personal taste. Luckily, there is a big variety of property types in Malta. The most common ones are:

Your moving in date: It’s all about timing

The real estate market in Malta is a very fast-paced environment. Therefore, you should not start looking for an apartment earlier than 2-4 weeks before moving in. When you are coming from another country, this may sound like a very short period of time. However, rest assured that this is more than enough time to find a new home in Malta. If you are moving to Malta it also gives you the opportunity to stay the first two weeks in a hotel or an Airbnb and start your property search directly on the island. If you already want to start with the property search from your home country, we recommended reaching out to one of our agents.

Tip
In case your moving in date is flexible you should definitely consider moving in the colder months and not in summer because more properties will be available and the prices might be lower. Another option could be to first take a short-term contract during the summer months and then move to a flat with a long-term contract from autumn.

A place of your own vs. a shared flat with friends

Depending on what kind of person you are you can either live on your own, with your partner, friends or even strangers. Many people who move to Malta decide to live in a shared flat at first as it is more budget-friendly and easier to get in touch with new people and finding friends.

Tip
Before you move into a shared flat you should get to know your new flatmates to find out if you are a good match.

Short-Lets vs. Long-Lets: The length of your stay influences the amount of rent

The rent can differ significantly depending on the duration of your stay. If you are only staying for a short period of time e.g. as an Erasmus exchange student, intern or language school student, you are very likely to pay more because you need a short-term contract. A rental period from 1-6 months typically counts as so-called short-lets. If you are looking for short-term accommodation please fill in our contact form and we will reach out to you with possible options.

On the other hand, if you are planning to stay for an indefinite period of time in Malta like it is the case for expats, pensioners or fulltime students, you can benefit from long-term rental contracts so-called long-lets. A rental period from 6 months and more typically counts as long-let. Most of the times you will get a rental contract for either 6 or 12 months with the option to extend the contract for the same period of time after the contract has reached its end date.

Location, Location, Location: Pay close attention to the area

The choice of the area you want to live in should be highly dependent on where you need to go regularly e.g. your workplace, university or language school. Ideally, your flat is located close to the place you need to commute to on a daily basis. This way you can avoid using public transport or only need a short bus ride to your workplace. Otherwise, you might end up spending two hours or more on a bus each day just because your workplace is half across the island. If you have a car or a scooter, however, you can consider living further away from your workplace but you should keep in mind that it can be very hard to find a parking space. Click on the plus sign to learn more about the different areas in Malta.

St. Julians, Sliema and Swieqi – The heart of Malta
Since a lot of iGaming companies are located in St. Julians, Sliema and Swieqi, many people choose to live in that area. St. Julians is also home to Malta’s infamous nightlife, Paceville. From Sliema, you can enjoy wonderful views of Valletta and many tourist boats depart from Sliema ferries to Gozo, Comino and the blue lagoon.

The downside of living here is that it is really crowded especially during the summer months with lots of tourists visiting. Swieqi, however, located just on the border to St. Julians, is a nice and quiet residential area and in foot walking distance to many iGaming companies as well as language schools.

Msida, Gzira and Valletta – Centrally located and historic flair
Msida and Gzira are located just next to Sliema and St. Julians and therefore close to many iGaming companies. Msida is also home to the University of Malta.

Valletta, the capital of Malta and European capital of culture 2018, is just a 10 minutes ferry ride from Sliema. Many historical buildings, cultural events as well as nice bars and cafes are giving Valletta a special nostalgic atmosphere.

St. Paul’s Bay and Mellieha – The north of Malta
St. Paul’s Bay and Mellieha form the northern part of Malta. Bugibba, a zone within St. Paul’s bay, is a popular tourist destination and home to hotels, restaurants and bars.

Mellieha, located at the very north of Malta, is home to the few sandy beaches like Mellieha Bay and Golden Bay. You can also visit Gozo from Mellieha by taking a ferry from Cirkewwa ferry terminal.

San Gwann, Attard, Naxxar, Birkirkara, Zebugg and Fgura – The centre of Malta
San Gwann, Attard, Naxxar, Birkirkara, Zebugg and Fgura are located in the middle of Malta with no coastline. It is possible to find really nice apartments and rooms at reasonable prices in these areas.
Marsaskala, Marsaxlokk and Birżebbuġa – The south of Malta
In the south-eastern part of the island are Marsaskala, Marsaxlokk and Birżebbuġa located right next to each other. Marsaskala is known for St. Thomas Bay and an impressive coastline. Marsaxlokk is a traditional fishing village and it’s fish market attracts tourists and locals alike. Birżebbuġa is home to Malta’s Freeport and a small sandy beach Pretty Bay.

How do I find a flat or an apartment for rent in Malta?

There are several ways on how to find a property to rent in Malta:

  1. Facebook Groups
  2. Websites of real estate agencies
  3. Real Estate Agents
  4. Comparison websites

Facebook Groups: The fastest way to find a new apartment

There are many large and very active groups on Facebook where mainly real estate agents, but also landlords, post available flats for long-lets and short-lets.

  • Daily updated with newly available properties
  • Partially offers directly from owners, meaning there is no agent fee involved
  • Popular apartments can be gone within minutes
  • Offers directly from an owner can be easily overlooked due to too many postings
  • Often postings are missing information e.g. decent images which makes it necessary to reach out and ask for the missing information
  • A lot of groups have the same postings

Some of the most popular Facebook groups can be found here:
facebook.com/groups/malta.homes.rent/
facebook.com/groups/1704321089795216/
facebook.com/groups/Malta.Trade/
facebook.com/groups/1431250910506148/
facebook.com/groups/Accommodationmalta/
facebook.com/groups/1528618690785361/

Websites of real estate agencies: Detailed information, but often outdated

There are many real estate agencies in Malta. Most of them have their own websites on which available properties for rent are being listed.

  • By far more detailed information about the apartments compared to Facebook postings
  • Direct contact to the letting agent who listed the property and thus knows the owner
  • Some real estate agencies offer a live chat for immediate questions
  • The websites are often not updated meaning that many listed properties are not available for rent at the moment
  • Some websites are complicated to navigate and do not use an SSL certificate
  • Agency fee

The most popular real estate agencies in Malta are

Real estate agents: Omnipresent, but hard to find a reliable one

Most of the real estate agencies have many branches across the whole island. You can just walk in any of the branches during opening hours and ask for an agent. Tell the agent what you are looking for and he will only suggest apartments which are available and match your criteria.

  • Omnipresent: Easy to find an agent because of a high density of real estate branches across whole Malta
  • Immediate suggestions of available properties based on your requirements. No need to click through hundreds of possibly outdated listings of real estate websites
  • A reliable and responsible agent will still be available for questions and possible problems even after the contract was signed
  • Helps to set up the contract and can explain the different paragraphs of the contract
  • Hard to find a reliable agent and to know who can be trusted: If you just walk into a real estate branch you cannot influence with which agent you have to deal with
  • An unreliable agent will not be available in case of problems after the contract was signed
  • Agency fee (might be negotiable)
Tip
All real estate agents who list their properties on Malta Homes agreed to also be reachable after the contract was already signed in case of any problems.

Comparison platforms: Combines updated listings with reliable agents

A comparison website like Malta Homes aggregates properties from different real estate agents and offers a modern as well as easy to use website including advanced search functionalities.

  • Only reliable and responsible agents, who are still available for questions and possible problems even after the contract was signed, can list on this site
  • Daily updates with newly available properties
  • Only available properties are being listed
  • More detailed information about the apartments compared to Facebook postings

Please click here for available properties to let. In case you do not find the right apartment, please let us know through our contact form what you are looking for and an agent will be in touch shortly.

How do I find and rent a room in a shared flat in Malta?

When you are interested in flat-sharing you have fewer options compared to renting a flat because the big real estate agencies do not list rooms for rent on their websites. Further, many real estate agents are not interested in helping people to find a room in a shared flat because their commission is typically lower and the amount of time spend to find a room is at least equal to finding a whole apartment.

Tip
Find your flatmates already before moving in because then you can search together for a suitable apartment and more agents would be willing to help you.

Our agents are of course willing to help you find a room in Malta. Just contact us through our form and we will be in touch shortly.

Nonetheless, there are still two good options to find a room in a shared flat:

  1. Facebook Groups
  2. Specialized website for finding flatmates

Facebook Groups: Possible to avoid the agency fee

There are a lot of large and active Facebook groups for flat sharing. Mainly landlords and current tenants who are looking for a new flatmate are posting in these groups. The big advantage of renting directly from the owner is that you do not need to pay an agency fee.

Some of the most popular Facebook groups for flat sharing in Malta are:
facebook.com/groups/shareflatinmalta/
facebook.com/groups/1671687199785924/
facebook.com/groups/AwesomeFlatmatesMalta/

Specialized website for finding flatmates

There is one website in Malta which specializes in finding new flatmates. It is called www.flatmate.com.mt On that site you can

  • Look for a new flatmate if you have a spare room
  • Look for a room to rent in a shared flat
  • Or team up with other people to find a new apartment together

What do I need to pay attention to when viewing an apartment?

After you have found a flat who matches your criteria it is time to arrange a viewing. The real estate agent will arrange the viewing for you and also accompany you. Some might also offer to pick you up and drive you to the apartment. In case you found the flat without an agent, you will have to arrange the viewing with the owner yourself.

We recommend that you check the following things at a viewing:

  • Only agree to viewings at daylight: You might not see certain things without daylight and many Maltese buildings are built in a way without much daylight
  • The general condition of the flat: Are there any obvious repairs needed?
  • Is there mould on the walls? An indication can be a musty smell or water stains on the wall
  • What kind of windows are in the apartment? Older flats usually have badly insulated windows meaning it can get really cold in winter
  • Does the AC work?
  • Do the toilets and sinks work and is the water pressure high enough?
  • Which tariff is being used for electricity and water? It should always be the residential tariff
  • In case you are not satisfied with the current furniture or equipment, ask if the owner will buy additional things or replace old furniture
  • Are there any construction sites nearby?
  • Are there bus stops or parking spaces close by?
  • Where is the next supermarket located?
Important
At the end of the viewing, the agent or the owner will often offer you to take the flat if you pay the deposit immediately even without having signed the contract. This is standard practice in Malta and not to worry about.

However, if you feel pressured and want more time to consider just tell that to your agent or the owner. But keep in mind that if someone else comes to see the flat after you and pays the deposit straight away the flat is gone.

What do I need to pay attention to in a Maltese rental contract?

First of all, you should insist on having a rental contract. You should be suspicious if the owner does not want to give you a rental contract or asks you to put a different amount of rent from what you are paying into the contract. However, these cases are exceptions.

Usually, a rental contract will be drafted after you have paid the deposit. All real estate agencies use standard rental contracts which can also be altered. Sometimes the owner might ask for another contract in addition to the standard contract. In this case, pay close attention to what is written in that contract.

A normal rental contract will cover the following aspects:

  • Rental period: Most long let contracts are either for 6 or 12 months with the option to extend the contract for the same period of time after the contract has ended
  • Amount of rent: The rent is payable one month in advance usually via bank transfer or in cash
  • Deposit: A refundable deposit of one month’s full rent must be paid. Some owners might ask for a higher deposit of two or even more month’s of full rent
  • Payment of utilities: Some owners pay utilities for you and ask for a monthly advance payment towards electricity and water. Other landlords ask you to pay your utility bills on your own.
  • Tip
    Always ask to see a utility bill and check which tariff you are paying. It should always be the residential tariff and not the domestic or even non-residential tariff which are significantly more expensive. In case you are not on the residential tariff ask your landlord to change it. You can read more on that here and download the form to change the tariff from the website of ARMS (Automated Revenue Management Services).
  • Internet: Some owner may provide internet for you, but usually you have to get your own contract. You can read more about how to choose the right internet provider here and here.
  • Agency fee: A fee amounting to one month’s rent plus 18% VAT, is to be paid 50% by the owner and 50% by the tenant
  • Contract termination: Usually, the lessee can terminate the contract in writing within 30 days. However, if you leave before the end of the rental period the deposit is forfeited. In case the lessor can rent out the apartment again right after you leave, he might be willing to return the deposit
  • Tip
    When you are leaving the apartment get the owner to sign a letter stating that the apartment is clean, all appliances are in working order and that all keys have been returned to the owner.
  • Repair of damages: Normally, all minor repairs up to ~60 € are to be paid by you. Major repairs are the responsibility of the landlord unless they are caused by the fault or negligence of you.
  • Sub-letting: In most cases, sub-letting is not allowed unless agreed on in writing. This might be the case for flat sharing where one person is the main tenant and sublets the other rooms to his flatmates.

Conclusion: With the right preparation you can find hassle-free an apartment or room for rent in Malta

By now you should have a very good overview of how to find a new home in Malta and what you need to pay attention to at a viewing and a rental contract. When you are ready to search for an apartment you can start by browsing through our list of available properties. If you have more questions or special requirements feel free to reach out to one of our agents, fill out our contact form or drop a comment under this article.

4 Comments

  1. That’s a very helpful read! How hard is it to find an apartment directly through the owner though to avoid agent fees? Are there any groups/websites you know of?
    Thank you in advance!

    Reply
    • Julien Hessler

      on said  

      In general, all real estate agencies charge the same in Malta. You might be able to reduce the agency fee by negotiating. However, this is more common when buying a property and not for renting a property.

      Reply

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