Cabinet to discuss pre-1995 rent reform on Monday

Prime Minister Robert Abela says his government will not ignore the reality of people living in houses with pre-1995 rents that run the risk of eviction

Prime Minister Robert Abela addressing party supporters at Villa Bighi in Kalkara
Prime Minister Robert Abela addressing party supporters at Villa Bighi in Kalkara

People living in properties with protected pre-1995 rents and who have little means will be protected under a reform that Cabinet will discuss tomorrow, Robert Abela said.

The Prime Minister dedicated a good part of his Sunday speech to the housing sector with focus on the growing risk of evictions affecting people living in households with pre-1995 rents.

Abela said that Cabinet and the Labour parliamentary group will be given an overview of government’s plan to address this reality.

Several court judgments have found in favour of property owners and struck down the pre-1995 law and a subsequent amendment in 2010 that fixed rents and prevented owners from charging market prices. 

The situation has led to tenants receiving notices for the payment of higher rents and in some cases even eviction.

Abela said the government had a duty to address this reality and the reform would be based on three principles.

Those people who require protection will continue being protected and no one will end up without a ceiling over their head, Abela pledged.

He said another principle would ensure that people who today pay social rents will not be burdened by exorbitant rental payments.

A third principle would be to ensure that property owners receive adequate compensation, according to the principles outlined by the courts.

“As the movement of social justice, we cannot ignore this reality… tomorrow Cabinet and the parliamentary group will discuss a plan to implement a new reform that will address years of injustice for property owners and the new realities tenants are facing,” Abela said.

A specific unit within the Housing Authority will be tasked to front the reform.

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