Parliament has finally approved the long-awaited reform to rent law, concluding a year long vast consultation process and detailed debate on the subject that is set to revolutionise the sector after more than fifty years of stagnation.
The law – as approved by the House Committee – strikes a “delicate balance” between owners’ rights to reclaim their property and tenants’ social rights wherever they are warranted and bringing property rented according to pre-1995 regulations in line with the same market conditions as those leased afterwards.
However, the new reformed law sees a radical change from the original White Paper on the matter, indicating the wide consultation process that has contributed to the amendments absorbed in the Bill.
Social Policy Minister John Dalli last night refrained from commenting about the new law, stating that his Ministry will shortly embark on a nation-wide information campaign to inform the general public about the details of the reformed law.
A senior government spokesman told this paper that the new law is “a just solution for the landlord, who will eventually get his property back, and a socially acceptable solution for tenants.”
The plans include guaranteeing security of tenure for existing tenants in residential property, but will scrap existing rights for tenants of garages and summer residences.
The former social policy minister, Dolores Cristina, had twice presented rent reform papers to Cabinet, while former Alternattiva Demokratika chairman Harry Vassallo waged a campaign calling for a referendum which never materialised as the 30,000 signatures required were never collected.