Government architect to evaluate property only on suspicion of abuse

End of system where all property sales had to be followed-up by inspection from government architect to confirm value of house

Edward Scicluna, flanked by MDA president (first left) Sandro Chetcuti
Edward Scicluna, flanked by MDA president (first left) Sandro Chetcuti

A government-appointed architect will only be sent to evaluate a property’s value after its purchase only in cases where abuse is suspected, Finance Minister Edward Scicluna said in a press conference today.

A government-appointed architect will only be asked to give his evaluation if the promise-of-sale agreement does not reflect the value of the property as laid out in a list of property characteristics determining the value of a property.

Buyers or sellers can also appoint a private architect to carry out an evaluation of the price of the property based on these characteristics, which will be published in a legal notice.

“We are effectively eliminating a bureaucratic procedure that made life more difficult to people buying a property. Innocent people were facing endless fines simply because a government-appointed architect, based on his experience and hunch, decides that the price did not reflect the ‘true’ value. With this list, we are now legally defining what makes a property valuable,” Scicluna said.

‘Through political experience we have seen families trapped in this procedure. We now have an instrument which scientifically analyses the property value.”

He explained that while buyers would now be in better control of their transaction, the department would still monitor the promise-of-sale agreements and intervene whenever abuse is suspected.

Buyers or sellers can also ask an architect to compile a list of the characteristics determining the value of the property and enclose with the property-of-sale agreement.

Scicluna said it took 12 months for the government to establish the instruments that will determine the property value, such as floor area, locality, type of property, and views. “Normal buyers and sellers should proceed with the transfer of property without being harassed. However, anyone who will attempt to cheat should bear in mind that we will know because we do have the tools to catch them.”

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