Malta Notary Public

Property Law

Maltese Notary Public in attendance

The Notary is a public officer, charged to receive acts inter vivos and Wills in an impartial manner, attribute public faith thereto and be responsible for their custody. The Notary is appointed for life by the President of Malta by a notice published in the Government Gazette, and may exercise the profession in any part of Malta and Gozo. 

The Notary alone is competent to personally ascertain the will of the parties or where such parties do not appear personally, of the identity of their agent and to inquire, after reading over and explaining the act to them, whether it is in accordance with their will. Such identity shall be ascertained by the production of the official identity card, passport or other similar official document, or where such document cannot be produced, on testimony of two attestors personally known to the Notary, who may also be witnesses appearing on the deed. 

A Malta notary public is in attendance in our Valletta offices.  Prior appointments by email or phone are recommended.

The Role of the Notary Public in Property Conveyancing 

The notary public provides legal advice on property related matters prior to signing, such as providing to non-resident purchasers about the implication of purchasing property in Malta with or without the Acquisition of Immovable Property Permit. 

In property sale contracts, the first step is the signing of the preliminary agreement (or ‘promise of sale’ agreement).  Drafted by the purchaser's property lawyers, this preliminary agreement is an agreement reached between a prospective vendor and a prospective purchaser.  A preliminary agreement on immovable property is binding if it is executed in writing and is duly registered by the Maltese Notary Public with the Inland Revenue Department within 21 calendar days from date of signing. A preliminary agreement should contain the date, the details of the Vendor and of the Purchaser, the description of the property, the title under which the property will be transferred (sale/purchase), and the terms and conditions agreed between the parties (including price, payment terms and length of agreement until the final contract is signed).

The Notary and other transfers of Property Rights in Malta

Maltese real estate may also be transferred under various other titles, including donation, exchange and partition.  In the context of a transfer of property in Malta, once the searches into the root of title are in hand and vetted by the Notary and the conditions to which the preliminary agreement has been made subject are fulfilled, an appointment convenient to all the parties is fixed for the signing of the final contract. It is important to note that the Notary does not view the property or check its building permits. Should a survey of the property be required, an architect is to be engaged separately to check whether all the necessary building permits are in place and to ensure that the property is structurally sound.

The final contract is always signed by all the parties concerned together with the Notary simultaneously. Should any one of the parties not be able to sign the contract personally, one can always sign a power of attorney appointing someone else in their stead to conclude the transaction and matters relating thereto.

Wills in Malta and the role of the Notary Public

The Notary Public advises on how to best regulate succession matters relating to their assets situated in Malta and Gozo. 

Other Notarial Services 

Services of the notary public in Malta include: signing applications or other acts relating to matters cognizable by a court of voluntary jurisdiction; receiving "acts of notoriety" on oath in civil and commercial matters and dying declarations.

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