Rent White Paper a step forward, but ditch early contract termination proposals - AD

White Paper proposals, if implemented, would ensure residential property market is stable, Alternattiva Demokratika said

Alternattiva Demokratika reacted to the government's White Paper on rent at a press conference in Bormla Saturday morning
Alternattiva Demokratika reacted to the government's White Paper on rent at a press conference in Bormla Saturday morning

Alternattiva Demokratika has said the White Paper on rent, published this week,  is a step forward, but the proposed exceptions justifying  early termination of lease agreements should not be followed through.

If the White Paper’s other proposals are implemented, this would serve to ensure the residential market is stable and fair for both landlords and tenants, AD said, but they should be considered in detail, so as to avoid any unnecessary difficulties created by them.

“When considering the White Paper proposals on the termination of leases, AD thinks that the proposed exceptions which seek to justify an early termination by landlords, in order to facilitate a sale with vacant possession, or for redevelopment purposes, should be discarded,” party chairperson Carmel Cacopardo said at a press conference Saturday.

“The reasons which the White Paper uses to justify early termination should only be acceptable for non-renewal of leases, but not for their early termination,” he said.

Cacopardo highlighted that, as pointed out in the White Paper, Malta has in the past had rigid systems of control which negatively impacted the rental market, sometimes going from one extreme to the other.

“It is therefore reasonable that, subject to the White Paper's proposed exceptions, the minimum length of leases be of one year and that adequate notice be given when leases are not to be renewed,” he said, differing in his suggestion from that put forward by an NGO coalition earlier today, which maintained the minimum length period should be on three years.

“It is also about time that deposits requested by landlords relative to damages, unpaid bills or other matters should be regulated by law, as this is a matter in respect of which various conflicts arise continuously,” Cacopardo emphasised.

He added that in order for the residential property market to be stabilised, it is not enough to regulate private sector leasing.

“It is also important that access to the social accommodation available is facilitated for those in vulnerable sectors. Social accommodation should not be sold, but should remain in use as intended, that is, as accommodation for social purposes,” he said.

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