When arriving in Malta, rental property is often a good alternative to buying your own place first up. You will want to work out which area suits you, weighing up for instance the pros and cons of public transport, schooling, or the location of the nearest useful supermarket, or you’ll simply want to check out the neighbours and the atmosphere on an area first.
Being a small country, rental property prices are often remarkably high. As Malta has been through a property boom, which saw prices on housing going through the roof, the Maltese are keen to invest their savings in property. As a result, there are plenty of flats and houses to rent at often quite reasonable prices. But the market is very diversified, with some areas asking for prime rents. In some villages, just a few streets in either directions makes a big difference on what rental you will be paying.
There are some strong pointers to keep in mind:
In any location, seafront apartments or houses with views and pools always comes at a premium rent.
As regards to location, Sliema and St Julian’s stand out as the most expensive villages in terms of flats. Within this area, Tigne’ Point in Sliema and Portomaso in St Julians are again above the rest. A penthouse in Tigne’ Point will set you back at least 5000 euro. The same sized penthouse outside of Tigne’ Point but still in Sliema will cost you some 3000 euro. Again, if you are prepared to go to the North, say St Paul’s Bay or Mellieha, you would, for the same sized penthouse, pay around 1500 euro.
Apartments are usually rented out furnished. Most landlords would be reluctant to remove the furniture, as they simply would have no where to put it! So unless you find a flat which is just being finished, and the landlord hasn’t had time to buy any furniture yet, don’t expect any big discounts for renting unfurnished. Once the flat is set up and ready to be rented, it will actually be more of a hassle for the landlord to remove the furniture in the flat.
When you move into a flat, you usually pay two month’s deposit, on top of your first month rent. This is to cover any damages and any outstanding electricity and water bills that might be unsettled when you leave. If everything is settled, you will get this deposit back. Or you should do – see here for what can happen.
So, let’s look at prices for a two- to three-bedroom apartment, the most usual rental size in Malta. If you rent a newly-built, modern furnished, three-bedroom apartment in Sliema or St Julian’s (no seaview), it will cost you between 700 and 900 euro. A two-bedroom apartment would set you back some 500 euro per month. With seaview, you need to add some 500 euro per month to any apartment, regardless size. If you want to rent in Tigne’ Point or Portomaso, you could easily look at the double, with two-bedroom flats starting at 1,500 euro.
Renting a outside Sliema or St Julian’s, without sea view, would be some 100 to 200 euro cheaper per month.
Villas and bungalows
While there is loads of apartments for rent all over the island, there are not so many houses for rent. Houses in good condition fetch more or less the same prices, regardless of location. Here size, garden and pool make a bigger difference. A three-bedroom house, around 180 to 200 sq meters with a small garden and pool would cost some 2000 euro per month to rent. The sky is obviously the limit, and there are some amazing palazzos for rent with the most superb standard. We’ve all heard the one about Brad Pitt renting an $11m villa in Qrendi during his stay here – but I wonder what he paid in rent though!
Need some unbiased advice on property issues?
This article is a guest post by Anne Muscat Scerri, who has long-time experience in getting her hands dirty, literally, in property projects in Malta. Anne project manages any form of refurbishment projects all across Malta, from town houses to office premises. She loves getting things done on time, and more importantly within budget! Email her on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how she can pull through your next project.