Buying property in Malta by non-residents may be challenging, mainly due to a number of small, yet important requirements which non-residents need to comply with when purchasing property in Malta.
Non-EU/Malta residents who wish to purchase property in Malta may do so; however they will need to acquire a permit for the acquisition of immovable property under Chapter 246 of the Laws of Malta. This permit is commonly known as an AIP Permit, and it allows all non-residents to purchase property in Malta, subject to a number of conditions.
What is the procedure to purchase immovable property in Malta?
After the buyer identifies the immovable property which they wish to purchase, they shall enter into a written agreement, referred to as a convenium. A copy of this written agreement must be attached to the AIP application form which may be obtained from the Capital Transfer Duty Department of the Inland Revenue Division or downloaded from the website.
How long does it take for an application to be processed?
The AIP Section is committed to issue the requested permit within 35 days, subject to whether the application submitted is correct as per its Quality Service Charter.
What do I need to submit with an application to acquire immovable property in Malta?
Along with the relative application form which must be duly filled in, applicants must also attach the following documents:
- two passport sized photos;
- copy of promise of sale; (convenium)
- photocopy of passport showing details
What are the fees for an AIP Permit?
The fee payable on the issue of a permit is €233.
What is the minimum immovable property price for a non-resident to purchase immovable property?
Non-residents must purchase a flat or maisonette for a minimum price of €101,469, or any other immovable property for a minimum price of €184,469.
Are there any conditions imposed on the permit?
There are three main conditions imposed on the permit:
- immovable property is to be used for residential purposes
- a copy of the notarial deed is to be submitted to the AIP section after its publication
- that the immovable property may not be sold in part, or otherwise into more than one dwelling house.
Can I rent my immovable property to third parties?
Property acquired by AIP permit cannot be rented out.
Can I acquire more than one immovable property in Malta?
Non-resident are allowed to purchase only one immovable property in Malta, unless it is situated in Special Designated Areas where there are absolutely no restrictions on acquisition.
I am married to a Maltese; do I need a permit to acquire immovable property in Malta?
The spouse of a citizen of Malta/EU member state may acquire immovable property together with his or her spouse as they fall within the definition of a “resident of Malta”.
AIP Permit - Conditions for buying property in Malta by Non-Residents
- Minimum value of property:
- Villa or house: €169,850
- Apartment, flat, maisonette: €101,938
If the property is still in shell form or unconverted, then the minimum value must include the costs of finishing (though it should be noted that the finishing must be of an ordinary nature).
- Property of historical interest or situated in historical area cannot be bought.
An architect must be appointed to inspect the property and decide whether it can be considered of historical importance or not (this does not apply to Houses of Character or Farmhouses, which can be purchased).
- Property purchased must be destined for personal residential use of the applicant only. (private guests may stay when the owner is present)
This is subject to a number of exceptions:
- for other purposes approved by Government,
- for an approved industrial or touristic project, or
- for any other project or purpose which is considered to contribute to the development of Maltese economy.
There must be documentary evidence of the foreign origin of funds transferred into the Maltese bank account, to the satisfaction of the Central Bank of Malta, prior to the signing of the final contract.
- Maximum property that can be purchased in Malta and Gozo:
If an individual is a holder of an AIP permit then this entitles that individual to purchase a maximum of one property.
However, there are no restrictions or permit requirements as to how many properties one can own in Specially Designated Areas. These areas include: Portomaso (St Julians), Chambray (Gozo), Tigné, Tas-Sellum (Mellieha), Madliena Village Complex, Smartcity, Fort Cambridge, Ta’ Monita Residence (Marsascala), Pender Place and Mercury House, Manoel Island, Cottonera Development, Kempinski Residences (San Lawrenza, Gozo), Metropolis Plaza Gzira, Vista Point (Marsalforn, Gozo) – property purchased by company or trust.
- Resale of property
Resale of property purchased under an AIP permit is allowed only to Maltese residents.
Acquisition by bodies of persons
Legal persons, excluding commercial partnerships, which are established and operate in an EU member state and which are directly controlled by citizens of an EU member state, may freely purchase immovable property to be used for the purpose which the company has been set up for.
Commercial partnerships which are established, and operate from an EU member state may freely acquire immovable property as well, provided that 75% or more of its shareholding is held by one or more EU citizens.
In all other cases, purchase of property by legal entities is not allowed. However, specific permits may be issued by the Minister where the property is required for an industrial or touristic project, or if the project contributes to the economic development of Malta.