[WATCH] Realtors say rent reform requires intermediaries to settle rental disputes

Parliamentary Secretary for Social Accomodation met with representatives of Engels and Völkers Sara Grech who said that while they are on board with the reform, a considerable amount of detail was still required

Sara Grech (left) and Benjamin Tabone Grech (right) in conversation with housing minister Roderick Galdes
Sara Grech (left) and Benjamin Tabone Grech (right) in conversation with housing minister Roderick Galdes
Realtors say rent reform requires intermediaries to settle rental disputes

Real estate director Benjamin Tabone Grech told parliamentary secretary for housing Roderick Galdes to include details on utility bills in a new contractual system for rental reform.

Speaking at the Engels & Völkers Sara Grech offices in Mriehel, Tabone Grech said the White Paper on rent reform required “a considerable amount of detail” but was happy to see it start as fast as possible.

He said utility bills were an aspect that he said always causes controversy in the real estate business. “When there is a new contractual system, what happens to the meter and who is liable to pay if the tenant leaves behind an unsettled bill?”

Tabone Grech urged for a swift and nimble method to deal with similar situations. “Fiscal benefits of the longer duration contract should be put forward so we can understand them better.”

He suggested an introduction of an intermediary to settle certain disputes, such as whom is responsible for the deposit.

Sara Grech, CEO and Founder of Sara Grech Ltd, praised the White Paper and complained about unprofessionalism being common in the industry. “Sometimes we encounter problems such as owners who aren’t willing to give a building contract to an agent. They go elsewhere, to agents who do not ask for it. These documents should be required,” she said.

“Statistics of current buildings for rent would also help. There is no complete data. What is the average renting rate, the average return of investment?”

Roderick Galdes, who welcomed the suggestions, agreed that a registration of all properties for rent would help professionalism in this sector.

“With Blockchain now, it can be easier to register a property. I believe in one market without distinctions,” he said. “Registration of every contract would help with this aspect of profssionalism and this information can be published from tim to tim. The market can regulate itself better and it ould invite fair competition without leaving space for abuse.”

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