If you are interested in purchasing Maltese real estate, here are the steps to follow:
Appoint a notary and a lawyer
A notary is a public officer entrusted with the enrolment of public deeds such as the purchase and sale of property. They are meant to be impartial, so it is unusual for a notary to be connected to a developer or estate agent. You should therefore ignore any suggestion of whom to appoint from the seller or estate agent; the same applies to your lawyer.
Your lawyer should specialise in property transactions. In the case of foreign buyers, it is important for the lawyer to be aware of the rules specific to the ownership, transfer and subletting of property by a foreign resident.
Get a permit
If you are an EU citizen, and the property you are purchasing will not be your main residence, you will need to obtain an acquisition of immovable property (AIP) permit, which is granted by the Ministry of Finance.
The minimum price you must pay for an apartment is €107,670 (£84,231) or €179,400 (£140,346) for a house or villa. EU citizens who intend to make the property their main home do not require a permit.
Sign an agreement and pay the fee and deposit
Once you have decided on a property and your offer has been accepted, a preliminary agreement is signed between the seller and buyer. This is usually valid for three months and binds both parties to the transaction based on a set of agreed terms and conditions which have to be satisfied for the final agreement and legal transfer of title to go ahead. After the signing of the preliminary agreement, but before entering into a final deed of sale, the notary will carry out the necessary searches into the property to confirm everything is in order before proceeding.
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