Maltese property owners allowed further time to sanction their properties
It is no secret that many properties and other developments around the Maltese islands fail to comply fully with planning laws, regulations and policies. Some years back a scheme was introduced to enable owners of such properties to come in line. Owners of immovable property around Malta and Gozo have been granted an extra year within which they may apply to the Malta Planning Authority to sanction their properties, thereby allowing them to be freely sold without any irregularities and legal hitches.
This was recently announced by the Planning Authority. The current scheme was expected to lapse this summer but the Authority decided to extend this for a further year. This is likely due to a number of factors, not least the strong response by the public – it is reported that over 13,000 applications for regularisation were submitted since 2016 of which around 12,000 were approved. Another reason may well be the financial gain, and related benefits, that may have led to this extension. Fees accompanying such applications have generated millions of Euro which the Authority can re-utilise on other projects, such as the Irrestawra Darek scheme – a scheme intended to preserve properties in Urban Conservation Areas by offering funding to owners of such properties wishing to restore their facades, interiors or gardens. There is also the added benefit to the Maltese property market in that such properties, once shed of their irregularities, may be freely bought, possibly funded by loans from banks which would otherwise reject as collateral properties burdened with irregularities. The extension of this scheme should continue to make properties available for sale, thereby shoring up the local property market which has recently reported a slowdown as confirmed by the president of the Malta Developers Association.