At less than 50 kilometers from one end of the main island to the other, Malta seems like a small, easily accessible country. How hard could it be to find a place to live in a country where everything is supposedly a 35-minute drive from everything else?
Well, the usual problem of rush-hour traffic applies even more than normal to Malta’s aging road system. If your commute involves a trip into one of the historic areas with even narrower streets, it could climb above 75 minutes, each way.
Renting is a core way of finding a home here. Property rentals in Malta are especially popular with expats who make up a very large segment of the country’s tenants.
That’s partly because Malta is such a popular expat destination but also because there are no restrictions on foreigners renting property in Malta.
Real estate agents are sometimes used but often property will be for rent in Malta direct from its owner. On the tenant’s side, some property negotiators specialize in finding rental properties and can be hired to help in your search.
Finding a home to rent can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. What’s the best town? How much should I pay in rent? What length of tenancy can I expect?
Second properties are especially popular in Malta. A recent survey found that almost 20% of Maltese residents own a second property somewhere in the country.
The obvious thing to do with your vacation property (or principal residence) when you aren’t using it is to rent it out. You probably don’t want to trek up to Gozo to change the sheets every time a short-term tenant checks out. And who wants to worry about a leaky roof while overseas for an extended stay?
Both situations are where good real estate management comes in handy. And also makes owning multiple income properties doable.
But Malta is a small country and, to some extent, the government has learned the lesson demonstrated by its Mediterranean neighbors. So, there is a fairly significant set of regulations on buying and renting property in Malta, which discourage run-away development and slipshod rental practices.
Malta has always been an outlier. Whether you look centuries back to the time when it was ruled by a Catholic order of knights or more recently as a British colony — it has done things differently.
The colonial history combined with a more recent desire to build a reputation as a financial center and establish a strong economy has led Malta to a very favorable tax regime. One that some people may call a tax haven.
But the current desire to integrate with the European community and avoid censure from American authorities has lead Malta to scale back on the tax allowances.
Still, government authorities say Malta’s tax code is its strongest card in a competitive world.
Is Malta a traditional tax-free jurisdiction in today’s world? Definitely not, it has some of the highest on-paper tax rates in the world. But there are some very attractive tax advantages in Malta and we’ll thoroughly outline them in this article.