Rent contracts will all have to be registered on the blockchain, Prime Minister says

Reformed rent laws will require that every rental contract drawn up in Malta is registered, Joseph Muscat announces

Joseph Muscat was speaking during a recorded interview on One Radio on Sunday (File photo)
Joseph Muscat was speaking during a recorded interview on One Radio on Sunday (File photo)

Every rental contract for property drawn up in Malta will have to be registered on the blockchain, ensuring its security, the Prime Minister said.

Joseph Muscat said that reformed rent laws, which were approved by the cabinet after a long consultation period, and which will be announced in the coming days, will require that all rent contracts in Malta be registered, preventing the possibility of there being contracts in place for which there is no record.

He said that, by being registered using distributed ledger technologies, the contracts will be protected against tampering and only those authorised will have access to them.

“Every rent contract in Malta will be registered. The system we will be using to register the contracts is blockchain - distributed ledger technology,” Muscat said.

“We will now be showing people the added value of this technology through applying it to something which they will use in their daily lives. Such a contract cannot be tampered with and only those authorised will be able to access it. This shows how the digital transformation will affect their lives.”

The Prime Minister, who was speaking during an interview recorded yesterday and broadcast on Sunday morning on One Radio, said the government would be revealing the full details of the proposed rent reform - which was drawn up following a lengthy consultation period - in the coming days.

Revised construction laws mean nobody can shirk responsibility

Turning to the amendments to the laws regulating building excavation and demolition, which the government is set to present to Parliament before it rises for the summer recess, Muscat said that the principle aim was to make it impossible for those concerned to shirk responsibility.

Noting that by Friday, 250 reactions to the proposed laws had been received, he insisted that the government would be taking into account the input of all the stakeholders in the construction and building industry, but would then have to take a decision about which legal changes need to be put in place.

He underlined that people's safety would not be compromised in any way when it came to the amendments which need to be carried out.

“The government will be removing the possibility of people trying to hide away from shouldering responsibility,” he said.

“…I am sure [the new laws] will be for the best of the people. Some will be in favour, some will be against, and those against will probably be so because they will have more responsibility to deal with.”

While reiterating that people’s safety was fundamental and would not be compromised, Muscat said that a balance had to be found between the added expenses of carrying out the new studies which will be required, and the limited resources of small developers. “We cannot create a situation where the small [developer] cannot cope with the burden… but safety remains the priority.”

Cleaning Malta up the priority for local councils

The Prime Minister said the newly elected local councillors will not have to worry about fixing their localities’ roads anymore, since this will be dealt with through the government’s €700 road regeneration project.

Instead, Muscat said he wanted local councils to focus on cleaning up Malta's towns and villages.

“I believe we should now concentrate on cleanliness in Malta. In certain places, there is no up-keep and they are not kept clean. We need to work together on various front: educating people not to litter, enforcing the rules, and drawing attention to the shortcomings of contractors encharged with collecting rubbish,” he said.