Malta, the enchanting Mediterranean gem, has become a sought-after destination for expatriates and travellers seeking a unique lifestyle experience. Its thriving economy and bustling tourism industry have driven the demand for rental properties to new heights.
In this guide, we will delve into every aspect of renting accommodation in Malta, from the most popular locations to rental prices, finding the perfect property, navigating rental contracts, student housing options, managing utilities, and even exploring social housing opportunities. By the end of this article, you’ll be equipped with all the knowledge you need to embark on your journey of renting property in Malta, whether you’re an expat or a traveller.
Popular places to rent accommodation in Malta
Valletta – Malta’s historic capital
- Valletta, the charming capital of Malta, nestled on a picturesque peninsula, offers not only historical richness but also stunning views. It’s conveniently located near shops, restaurants, and public transportation. Expect to pay around €1,000 to €1,500 per month for a 2-bedroom apartment in Valletta.
Sliema – The seaside paradise
- Located on the northeast coast and in close proximity to Valletta, Sliema is famous for its seaside promenade, vibrant shops, cafes, and restaurants. A 2-bedroom apartment here typically rents for €1,100 to €1,600 per month.
St. Julian’s – nightlife and beaches
- St. Julian’s is a hotspot for nightlife enthusiasts and beachgoers. This area attracts a younger crowd, and you can rent a 2-bedroom unit for approximately €1,000 to €1,400 monthly.
Gzira – A convenient hub
- Situated between Sliema and Valletta, Gzira offers easy access to both locations. You can secure a 2-bedroom apartment here for roughly €800 to €1,300 per month.
Marsascala – coastal tranquillity
- If you prefer a quieter atmosphere, Marsascala, a fishing village in the southeast of Malta, is an ideal choice. Enjoy sea views from the coastline promenade while paying €700 to €1,200 monthly for a 2-bedroom rental.
Mellieħa – A serene beach destination
- For those seeking a more tranquil beach experience, Mellieħa in the north is a great option. Here, a 2-bedroom home rents for approximately €700 to €1,100 per month.
Buying versus renting in Malta
Renting a home in Malta offers several advantages over purchasing property on the island, especially for expatriates and travellers. The Maltese real estate market has seen a rapid increase in property prices in recent years. According to Statistics Malta, the average apartment purchase price in Q3 2022 was €297,172. In contrast, the average monthly rental rate for an apartment was €1,180. This translates to a price-to-rent ratio strongly favouring renting, with a ratio of over 20.
Additionally, Malta’s robust tourism industry has prompted many landlords to offer short-term vacation rentals, providing even more options for renters looking for flexible accommodations. For foreign buyers, navigating the mortgage financing process can be challenging, making renting a more accessible choice. Moreover, renters are spared from property taxes and maintenance costs associated with homeownership.
In summary, renting in Malta offers superior value and flexibility when compared to purchasing property, making it the practical choice for most expatriates and travellers.
Types of property to rent in Malta
Given Malta’s appeal to expatriates and tourists, a wide range of property types is available for rent:
Apartments – city living at Its best
Apartments are the most common rental option, especially in major cities like Valletta and Sliema. They come in various sizes, from studios to 3-bedroom units, offering convenient city living.
If you’re interested in apartment living, websites like Malta Properties and Malta Sotheby’s International Realty provide extensive listings for apartments of all sizes. These websites often include high-quality images and detailed descriptions to help you make an informed choice.
Townhouses – charming and traditional
Traditional Maltese townhouses with limestone facades are also available for rent, especially in older cities like Valletta. These terraced houses may span multiple floors and include courtyards and roof access.
If you’re captivated by the charm of Maltese townhouses, you can explore rental listings on websites like Frank Salt. They often have a variety of townhouses listed with photographs and detailed descriptions, making your search easier.
Penthouses – luxurious living
For those seeking upscale living, penthouse apartments with panoramic rooftop terraces are a premium option, albeit at a higher rent.
Perry Real Estate Professionals is a reputable real estate agency that specializes in luxury properties, including penthouses with breathtaking views. Their website provides insights into some of the most luxurious rentals on the island.
Luxury villas with private pools can be rented in areas like Sliema and St. Julian’s. These multi-bedroom homes cater to high-end tenants.
Rustic farmhouse rentals are available in Gozo and rural villages, offering a taste of traditional island life with minimalist decor.
To discover authentic farmhouse rentals, Gozo Village Holidays is a reliable source. Their website showcases charming farmhouses on the sister island of Gozo, complete with descriptions and photos.
Furnished apartments and villas are popular choices for vacation rentals during the peak summer tourist season. Prices can vary significantly depending on the property and location.
For short-term vacation rentals, you can browse listings on platforms like Airbnb and Booking.com. These platforms allow you to filter properties based on your preferences and budget, making it convenient to find the perfect holiday accommodation.
Whether you’re looking for the convenience of an apartment in the heart of Valletta or the tranquillity of a farmhouse in Gozo, Malta offers diverse rental options to suit your needs and preferences.
These external references and detailed descriptions should provide valuable information to readers interested in renting different types of properties in Malta.
Finding a place to rent in Malta
With such a diverse array of rental options in Malta, the challenge lies in finding the ideal accommodation that suits your needs. Here are some valuable tips to aid in your search:
Real estate agencies
Top real estate agencies such as Remax, Quicklets, Frank Salt, and Dhalia Real Estate provide online listings with photos and detailed property information. However, be prepared to pay finder’s fees when using their services.
A community resource of Facebook groups
Join Facebook groups like “Flats and Apartments for Rent Malta,” boasting over 45,000 members who actively share rental listings. Here, both individual landlords and agents frequently post available rentals.
Extensive choices of online Listings
Explore property websites like PropertyMalta, MaltaPropertyRentals, and iFindPropertyMalta to browse rentals across the Maltese Islands. Utilize filters to refine your search based on location and preferences.
Notice Boards – local discoveries
Some grocery stores and community cantres have physical notice boards displaying rental listings. Networking in person may reveal unadvertised rentals.
Facebook marketplace – private offerings
Malta’s active Facebook Marketplace often features rental listings from private individuals. User reviews can help you identify trustworthy landlords.
Walking neighbourhoods – hidden gems
To discover unlisted rentals, explore desired neighbourhoods in person and keep an eye out for “for rent” signs on apartment buildings. Don’t hesitate to ask locals for recommendations.
University housing – student-friendly options
If you’re a student looking for accommodation near a Maltese university, check with the university’s housing office for vetted listings. For example, the University of Malta offers affordable single ensuite rooms for full-time students.
In Malta’s fast-paced rental market, remaining open to various sources, both online and offline, is key to finding the perfect rental option that suits your needs and preferences.
How to rent property in Malta
Renting accommodation in Malta follows standard procedures commonly found in European countries. To ensure a
smooth rental process, here are the essential steps:
Passport – identification
- Ensure you have a valid passport for identification purposes and as proof of your visitor status when dealing with agents and landlords.
References – establishing trust
- Most landlords in Malta require references from previous landlords or employers. Collect these in advance to streamline the application process.
Income documents – proving financial capability
- Be prepared to verify your income through recent pay stubs, bank statements, or an employment letter.
Rental agreement – legal protection
- Sign a comprehensive lease agreement that outlines the terms and conditions of the rental, including the duration, monthly rent amount, and deposit details. This agreement protects both the tenant and the landlord.
Deposit – financial security
- Typically, landlords in Malta require a security deposit equivalent to one to three months’ rent. This deposit is held throughout the tenancy and returned at the end if no damages occur.
- Expect to pay a rental agency finder’s fee equal to one month’s rent if you utilize the services of an agency. Landlords may also pay an equivalent fee to the agent.
Inventory Check – documenting property condition
- Before moving in, review a detailed inventory report that documents the condition of the property. This helps ensure a clear understanding of its condition at the beginning of the tenancy.
- You will be responsible for setting up utility accounts for electricity, water, and Internet, as needed. Cable TV is typically included in the rent.
- Rent in Malta is usually paid by bank transfer on the first of each month, and cash or checks are rarely accepted.
Following these standard procedures will help ensure a seamless rental experience for expatriates and travelers who may not be familiar with Malta’s real estate market.
Rental costs in Malta
Rental prices in Malta can vary significantly depending on factors such as location, size, amenities, and the season. Here’s an overview of average rental rates you can expect:
Property rental prices in Euros per month
|Type of Property||Minimum Monthly Rent (€)||Maximum Monthly Rent (€)|
|3-Bedroom Farmhouse in Gozo||€800||€1,200|
|Luxury Villa with a Pool||€3,000||€6,000|
Partially or fully furnished units generally command rental prices that are 10% to 20% higher than unfurnished properties. Locations such as Sliema and Valletta, considered prime, tend to fall on the higher end of these rental price ranges.
According to Numbeo’s Cost of Living data for Malta, the average monthly cost of utilities for a 900 sqft (85m2) apartment is around €182. This cost includes electricity (€77), heating (€55), water (€28), garbage (€14), and Internet (€45).
For those seeking budget-friendly options, shared accommodations like house or apartment shares start at around €300 per month per person. Overall, Malta remains more affordable in comparison to many neighbouring European countries.
Social housing in Malta
Malta does have a limited social housing scheme designed to assist low-income residents and families. This program is managed by the Housing Authority and has specific eligibility criteria, which include:
- Having lived in Malta for five or more years
- Being a first-time property buyer
- Having an annual household income below €18,000
- Not already owning property
Under this scheme, the rent for a 2-bedroom unit is set at €125 per month, while a 3-bedroom unit costs €160 per month. It’s important to note that the application process for social housing is quite involved, requiring extensive paperwork, background checks, and often comes with long wait times of five years or more.
Given the stringent eligibility criteria, social housing is not a viable option for most expatriates. Foreign residents will typically need to pursue private sector rentals in Malta.
Tenancy contracts in Malta
In Malta, tenancy contracts are legally binding documents that protect the rights and responsibilities of both tenants and landlords. These contracts typically include the following information:
- Names of the landlord and tenant
- Address of the rental property
- Lease start and end dates
- Monthly rental amount
- Payment due date (usually the 1st of the month)
- Deposit amount
- Responsibilities for utilities like electricity and water
- Details regarding any furnishings provided
- House rules, such as restrictions on smoking or keeping pets
- Notice period required for termination (usually one month)
The standard lease term in Malta is typically 12 months, although shorter 6-month contracts may have higher rental prices. After the fixed term ends, contracts automatically continue on a month-to-month basis.
Landlords generally prefer to avoid short-term rentals (under three months) as these require registration with the Malta Tourism Authority. Before signing any lease, it’s crucial to carefully review the contract to ensure that the terms align with your expectations and requirements.
Utilities and telecommunications in malta
As a renter in Malta, you will be responsible for arranging and paying for various utilities and telecommunications services:
- Electricity: Enemalta, the state energy company, provides electricity. It takes 1 to 2 weeks to open an account, and Malta uses a 240V, 50Hz AC electrical system.
- Water: The Water Services Corporation manages water services. The basic rate is €28 per month, with additional charges for excess usage.
- Gas: For gas ovens and hobs, you’ll need to purchase propane gas tanks separately. A standard 12 kg cylinder costs around €20.
- Heating: Units usually have electric heaters, air conditioning units, or plug-in radiators. Some may use propane gas heaters.
- Wifi/Internet: Malta offers various Internet service providers, including Vodafone, Melita, and Go. Packages typically start at €20 to €30 per month for adequate speeds.
- Cable TV: Basic cable packages that include major Maltese and international channels are often included in rent.
- Mobile Phone: Leading mobile carriers in Malta are Vodafone, Melita, and Go. Consider obtaining a local SIM card for cost-effective mobile service.
- Garbage: Local councils provide door-to-door waste collection services several times a week, with fees averaging between €12 to €15 per month.
Setting up utility accounts and telecommunications services should be a top priority upon starting your lease, as it can take some time to complete the process.
Moving in and out of rented property in Malta
Properly adhering to procedures when moving in or out of a rental property in Malta is essential for a hassle-free experience:
- Arrange for utility connections well in advance (1-2 weeks before your lease begins).
- Complete a detailed inventory checklist to inspect the property’s condition on the day of move-in. It’s advisable to photograph any damages for documentation.
- Pick up the keys on the lease start date, either from the landlord or the agent.
- Pay the first month’s rent and the security deposit.
- Notify the landlord or the agency at least one month in advance of your intended move-out date.
- Thoroughly clean the property and remove all personal belongings before moving out.
- Schedule an appointment for an inventory checklist to review the property’s condition.
- Return the keys to the landlord or the agency on the move-out date.
- Provide proof of utility account closures and evidence of settling any final bills.
- Request the return of your security deposit in writing within 14 days of moving out.
Following these best practices ensures a smooth transition when moving in and out of rental properties in Malta.
Renting out your home in Malta
For property owners in Malta, renting out a property can provide a steady source of income. Here are some tips for those considering renting out their property:
- Obtain an MEPA Compliance Certificate to legally rent out your property.
- Set competitive rental prices based on factors such as location, size, and current market rates. Pricing slightly below the market average can attract tenants more quickly.
- List your property on reputable real estate platforms to maximize its visibility. High-quality photographs can significantly enhance the attractiveness of your listing.
- Screen tenant applicants thoroughly by checking employment history, previous landlord references, income, and credit history.
- Use a comprehensive lease agreement that clearly defines house rules, rent, deposit amounts, and the duration of the lease. For leases exceeding one year, ensure the contract is registered.
- Collect a security deposit equal to one month’s rent to cover any potential damages or unpaid rent.
- Consider hiring a rental agency to manage tenant sourcing, lease agreements, property maintenance, and rent collection. Rental agencies typically charge fees ranging from 8% to 15% of the monthly rent.
- Provide 24/7 contact information to tenants for emergency repairs, and address maintenance issues promptly.
- Stay informed about and comply with relevant laws regarding taxes, safety standards, and anti-discrimination policies. It’s essential to stay up-to-date with regulations and requirements in the Maltese real estate market.
Renting out property in Malta can provide owners with a stable stream of investment income in Euros and the potential for long-term capital gains. However, it’s important to consider the costs beyond the initial property purchase and to manage the property efficiently to maximize returns.
Tips for renters in Malta
To ensure an enjoyable and successful renting experience in Malta, consider the following tips:
- Prepare Necessary Documents: Have essential documents, including passports, references, and income statements, ready when applying for rental properties to expedite the process.
- Negotiate Agency Fees: If possible, try to negotiate the finder’s fee charged by rental agencies, which is typically equivalent to one month’s rent.
- Cast a Wide Net: Search for rental properties both online and offline, utilizing multiple platforms and sources to compare listings and find the best option for your needs.
- Act Quickly: The rental market in Malta is fast-paced, so be prepared to make decisions promptly when you find a suitable property.
- In-Person Inspections: Always inspect properties in person before signing any lease agreement to ensure that they meet your expectations and requirements.
- Negotiate Rent: Don’t hesitate to negotiate rent with landlords if you believe the listed price is above the market rate.
- Understand Your Rights: Familiarize yourself with your legal rights as a tenant, particularly regarding deposits, repairs, and lease terms.
- Insurance Coverage: Consider obtaining insurance coverage for your belongings, as this is not typically provided by landlords.
- Budget Wisely: Create a budget that accounts for rent, utilities, food, transportation, and leisure activities to manage your finances effectively.
- Adapt to Local Living: Be prepared to adapt to the quirks of older Maltese buildings, such as potential issues with water pressure and dampness. Additionally, embrace the local culture by patronizing nearby shops and getting to know your neighbors.
With proper preparation, a realistic understanding of the market, and a respectful approach to local customs, renting in Malta can be an enjoyable and cost-effective way to experience the Mediterranean lifestyle.
Frequently asked questions about renting in Malta
Here are answers to some common questions about renting property in Malta as an expatriate or traveler:
1. How much is the rent in Malta?
The cost of rent in Malta varies depending on factors such as location, property size, and amenities. On average, monthly rents for different types of properties range from €400 to €6,000.
2. Can foreigners rent property in Malta?
Yes, foreigners can rent various types of properties in Malta, including apartments, townhouses, penthouses, and villas. To do so, they will need to provide proper documentation, such as a passport, references, and proof of income.
3. Is it easy to rent in Malta?
The rental market in Malta moves quickly, so it’s essential to be flexible in terms of location and make prompt decisions. Utilizing multiple agencies and online platforms can increase your chances of finding suitable rental options.
4. How much is it to rent an apartment in Malta?
The cost of renting an apartment in Malta depends on factors such as location and size. On average, monthly rents for apartments in Malta can range from €400 for a studio to €2,000 for a 3-bedroom unit.
5. Where is the cheapest rental area in Malta?
Generally, rental prices tend to be lower in the north of Malta and in smaller villages located farther from Valletta. Areas like Mellieħa and Mosta offer more affordable options, starting at around €700 per month for apartments.
6. Is it better to buy or rent in Malta?
The decision to buy or rent in Malta depends on your long-term plans and financial situation. Given the high property prices, renting is often a more practical choice for expatriates and travellers looking for flexibility.
7. What are typical utility costs in Malta?
Utility costs in Malta can vary based on consumption and the number of occupants. On average, monthly utility expenses for an apartment can range from €150 to €250, covering electricity, water, gas, garbage, cable TV, and Internet.
8. What is the process for renting an apartment in Malta?
The process of renting an apartment in Malta typically involves providing the necessary documents, signing a lease agreement, paying the required deposit and rent, setting up utility accounts, and inspecting the property at move-in. Following these steps ensures a smooth rental experience.
9. How do I look for an apartment to rent in Malta?
To find rental apartments in Malta, you can use various sources, including real estate agencies, property websites, Facebook groups, online classifieds, noticeboards, local newspapers, and by walking through neighbourhoods and asking locals for tips.
Renting in Malta offers an affordable and flexible living option in the Mediterranean. By following this guide and taking these tips into account, you can navigate the rental market with confidence and find the ideal property on the Maltese Islands. Whether you’re an expatriate or a traveller, renting in Malta can be a rewarding experience that allows you to fully embrace the Mediterranean lifestyle.