Federation of Estate Agents approve of budgetary measures

Deputy Chairman does not believe rent rates will increase as a by-result

The Federation of Estate Agents (FEA) welcomed the measures which were announced in the budget yesterday evening.

These new measures include the introduction of a final withholding tax on rental income, the exemption of stamp duty for first-time buyers, a revision of the government appointed architect valuations, and the promotion of property to foreigners.

Ian Casolani, owner of Belair Real Estate and Deputy Chairman of the Federation of Estate Agents said that the Federation had been lobbying for the implementation of withholding tax for rental income for "at least five years".

Asked by MaltaToday whether this could lead to an increase in rent by property owners - in order to neutralize the burden of tax payment - Casolani said that he did not believe this would happen.

"Such a measure allows for those property owners who have been evading tax for years, to now pay tax at a realistic cost and through the proper channels," he said.

"Of course, it is always difficult to categorically foresee certain scenarios but I personally do not believe that this new measure will reflect in an increase in rents by owners," he said.

Casolani admitted that there may be some property owners who may increase their rents but he said that these will probably make up the exception and not the rule.

In the budgetary speech, it was stated that rental incomes which were not declared will be subject to a final 35% tax calculated on the 35% on gross rental income apart from penalties and interest on unpaid tax.

Casolani said that because government made it clear that there was no room for tolerance on tax evaders, he believed that "with a good campaign, in parallel with a strict process, a big majority of tax-evading landlords will come in line".

Be Valiant. When a prospective tenant engages an estate agent to find them a property they are asked what budget they are working with. That budget goes straight out the window when that tenant is faced with the Domestic rate as opposed to the residential rate, for utilities, so yes the agents should most certainly divulge the discriminatory two tier tariffs. Anything else would be dishonest.
Joseph MELI
Mr Be Valiant , Initially,I would ask you a question as to why you should cowardly hide behind a non-de-plume when submitting a comment ?Now I will address yours -which hardly warrants a degree in nuclear physics to answer . Estate agents should provide FULL DISCLOSURE to all clients on all aspects of a rental,or indeed any , property and that "their job does not stop there when showing the property "(how would you know anyway ?) and that in their(FEA )mission statement it declares such :- "That the estate agent will ensure that in all business conducted AN ESTATE AGENT MUST ACT ETHICALLY BETWEEN AGENTS AND THEIR CLIENTS-AS WELL AS BETWEEN THE AGENTS THEMSELVES" That ethical, full disclosure is a crucial part of their job which you appear to be blissfully ignorant of .It is also apparent that you also make presumptions about me and my status here or nationality and I would be happy to discuss this with you in person if you have the guts to live up to your ridiculous incognito name and not make spineless comments and leave your contact details with the editor, as he has my permission to leave mine with yours ok, and then you can truly 'be valiant' -to my face -whaddya say hero?
Mr. Murray, what have Estate Agents got to do with Utility bills ? Their job is to show you property you require. and it stops there. Apparently you cannot afford much. Malta does not need scroungers. Perhaps it is time you consider re-locating back to that Paradise whence you came from. Bye bye
Joseph MELI
It would appear that the FEA only respond to media publications as I and many others have written to them via its Chairman and asked how they do not conform to their mission staement in that they will will provide "full disclosure" and will "conduct their business in an ethicial manner at all times" when clearly no estate agent ever advises a NON-MALTESE client when the property they are considering renting -or do eventually lease-is subject to a massive discrimatory rate being charged for utility provisions .Perhaps the deputy Chairman,Ian Casolani,will provide an answer?