Property development, re-development projects, property conversions, sales and leases all provide a myriad of opportunities in a variety of areas and IURIS is no stranger to this, having assisted owners, developers, contractors and other service providers to this industry.
Real estate in Malta is traditionally one of the building blocks of the Maltese economy and still continues to contribute heavily to Malta’s growth.
IURIS lawyers regularly advise both buyers and sellers of any immovable property, including urban and rural land, buildings sites, residential property (such as apartments, maisonettes, townhouses, palazzos and villas) or commercial property (such as single retail outlets, hotels, malls, offices and catering establishments). In Malta sales are normally preceded by a promise of sale, which is an undertaking between the purchaser and the vendor, binding themselves reciprocally to buy and sell respectively. IURIS services range from the drafting of the promise of sale agreement, its registration and provisional stamp duty payments, to the conclusion of the final deed of sale whereby the property is transferred. Related services include the drawing up of powers of attorney and representation on deeds, conducting searches into the root of title, the filing of applications for foreigners/expats for permits to purchase immovable property in Malta (AIPs), as well as representation in disputes that may arise, including the enforcement or the rescission of the promise of sale, actions for recovery of deposits and other actions that may arise pursuant to a sale, such as the action for latent defects or breach of contract.
The letting scene in Malta is very much alive, in part due to the thriving remote gaming industry and the improvement of lease laws. IURIS has a sound lease practice in both commercial and residential letting, having also contributed to recent amendments upgrading Malta’s rent laws. This has positioned us to better assist clients in the drafting of agreements for the letting of any property, from company premises and corporate offices, retail outlets, gaming parlours and stores, to all kinds of residential properties.
IURIS lawyers also assist in various disputes disputes before the Maltese courts and competent tribunals (Rent Regulation Board) concerning the enforcement and breach of lease agreements. Cases include the non-payment of rent, the implementation of other lease conditions, the termination of lease agreements, the eviction of tenants and the recovery of leased premises.
The proliferation of apartment blocks and garage complexes and the introduction of the Condominium Act has necessitated the implementation of proper Condominium Rules. IURIS practitioners may help you set up residents’ associations, interpret statutes where these already exist and enforce same by arbitration where necessary. We may also provide assistance on a variety of neighbour issues, such as burdens and servitudes, the use of common areas and other civil law disputes.
Development planning process
IURIS clients include property developers whom we represent before the local Planning Authority (previously MEPA) at all stages, accompanying them during hearings and making submissions before the Authority’s adjudicating and appeals boards. Our litigation team has also intervened in appeals before the Court of Appeal. We may also assist in other development planning matters such as enforcement proceedings and objections to proposed developments by interested third parties.
Contracts of works
Given that apartments and other properties are often sold when still in shell form, the need arises to regulate the manner in which these are to be completed. Our services in this area include the drawing up of contracts of works and finishes between developers, buyers and contractors catering for the various complexities such agreements pose, including payment terms, sub-contracting and securities such as charges, hypothecs and privileges over the immovable property.
SIMON GALEA TESTAFERRATA
STANLEY JOE PORTELLI