Renting in Malta? How to Be a Good Tenant
It’s good to be a good tenant. When you move into a new apartment in Malta, you will have to pay a deposit. This is ordinarily equal to one month’s rent, although sometimes it can be a bit more or less. It’s up to the landlord how much he or she wants to take as a deposit. In order to get your deposit back, at the end of your tenancy, you must look after the apartment. A deposit is taken in case you do any damage to the property or you fail to pay rent. Any necessary repair costs or unpaid rent/bills will be deducted from your deposit when your lease ends. You might not be the owner of the apartment but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look after it. Being a good tenant means treating the flat as if it were your own and being respectful of the landlord and your neighbours. When you are a good tenant, if you want to stay after your lease has ended, the landlord will be happy to extend or renew your contract. If you want to leave, you will get your deposit back and your landlord will be happy to give you a reference. It’s a win-win! Here are some of our top tips on how to be a good tenant:
Pay your rent on time
This might go without saying but it’s important to mention. We couldn’t have a list of good tenant tips without mentioning rent. Normally, you will pay on the same day of every month. This is most commonly the date on which you signed your contract as, more often than not, you will pay the first month’s rent on this day. If you are a forgetful person, you can set up a standing order so the money will come out of your account on the same day every month. If you and your landlord have accounts at different banks, keep this in mind when transferring money. The landlord should receive your rent on the day stipulated on your contract. So, depending on your bank, you might have to do the transfer a couple of days before.
Be respectful of your neighbours
It’s nice to be respectful of your neighbours, whether you’re renting or not. Just because you don’t own the property you’re living in, and won’t be there forever, doesn’t mean that you don’t have to care about the other people in your building. Not everyone lives or works to the same schedule, and you never know when your neighbours might be taking a nap! Don’t watch your movies at cinema volume or tap dance at ungodly hours. In Malta, there are actually laws stating when you can and when you can’t make noise. If you’re an early bird, remember that you can’t make excessive noise before 7am. On the other hand, if you’re throwing a party, you shouldn’t be keeping your neighbours up past 11pm. It might not even be you who will be getting the complaints, and it’s not fair that your landlord gets shouted at because you can’t keep the noise down.
Look after the property as if it were your own
Clean and care for your rental property as if it were your own. When you rent an apartment in Malta, keep it in good condition. Clean the flat as often as you would if you owned it yourself. A year’s worth of limescale build-up will be a nightmare to clean if you don’t keep on top of your bathroom. Your landlord spent money on finishing and furnishing the apartment and it wouldn’t be nice if he or she had to replace anything due to your neglect. Normal wear and tear is fine, but you have a certain level of responsibility when it comes to upkeep. Wipe up spills so they don’t stain the counters and scrub the shower often to keep away mould. Keeping the rental apartment in good shape will ensure you don’t have a tough end-of-lease clean and that you get your full deposit back.
Replace any breakages and report damages promptly
If you break anything in the apartment, replace it immediately. Even if it’s only a glass, and it doesn’t seem very important. You might forget to buy a new one if you don’t do it right away. These things happen, so don’t worry too much. Just make sure you replace anything you break as soon as possible. If you break something a bit bigger than a glass, like your bedside lamp for example, and you don’t know where the landlord bought it from, then ask. They’ll be happier to tell you where you can buy a replacement than have you neglect to tell them at all. Tell your landlord about any necessary repairs as soon as something comes up. If there’s a leak or something, it’s best it gets fixed right away. This ensures no further damage is done.
Settle your bills
If your rent does not include bills, you will need to pay your electricity, water and internet on top of your contract. Before your lease is up, make sure you settle any outstanding bills. Usually, a meter reading will be taken when you move in and again when you move out. You are responsible for any consumption during your lease. It’s not fair if you leave the apartment without settling what you owe. Your landlord shouldn’t be lumped with your outstanding bill payments.
Respect your contract
Definitely if you rent through an agency, and most likely even if you rent privately, both you and your landlord will sign a contract, otherwise known as a lease agreement. Both parties must respect and abide by the contract. If your contract doesn’t allow you to have pets, then don’t adopt a dog half way through your tenancy. Your friend wants to move in with you? Double check this is allowed before you say yes. Unless your landlord agrees to any changes, you must respect your contract. Read it thoroughly to make sure you understand everything before signing. This way, you won’t get caught out later.