Acquisition of Immovable Property by Non-Residents

Citizens of all European Union member states, including therefore Maltese Citizens, who have resided in Malta continuously for a minimum period of five years at any time preceding the date of acquisition may freely acquire immovable property situated in Malta without the necessity of obtaining a permit (hereinafter referred to as an ‘AIP permit’). Thus […]

Written By Stephen Balzan

On October 24, 2016
"

Read more

Citizens of all European Union member states, including therefore Maltese Citizens, who have resided in Malta continuously for a minimum period of five years at any time preceding the date of acquisition may freely acquire immovable property situated in Malta without the necessity of obtaining a permit (hereinafter referred to as an ‘AIP permit’).

Thus citizens of all European Union member states, including therefore Maltese Citizens, who have not resided continuously in Malta for a minimum period of five years at any time preceding the date of acquisition, may only purchase their primary residence or any immovable property situated in Malta which is required for their business activities or supply of services without the necessity of obtaining a permit. 

Citizens of all European Union member states, including therefore Maltese Citizens, who have not resided continuously in Malta for a minimum period of five years at any time preceding the date of acquisition, require a permit to acquire immovable property for secondary residence purposes. 

Individuals who are not citizens of a European Member state may not acquire any immovable property situated in Malta unless they are granted a permit. 

There are defined zones in Mata, referred to as Special Designated Areas, where there are absolutely no restrictions to acquire immovable property. There is also no restriction on acquisition through inheritance and there are also several other special exemptions. 

Where an AIP permit, is required, a number of conditions are imposed on the permit.  These are the following:

  • The immovable property is to be used only for residential purposes
  • A copy of the contract of acquisition is to be submitted to the AIP section after its publication
  • The immovable property may not be sold in part, or otherwise into more than one dwelling house.

Another condition for an AIP permit to be acquired is that the price for which the immovable property is acquired must not be below certain thresholds, depending on whether the property is a flat, a maisonette or any other property.  The values are adjusted each year in accordance with the Retail Price Index.  Please consult us to provide you with up to date values.

When the prospective buyer identifies the immovable property to be purchased, he/she must sign a promise of sale agreement, a copy of which must be attached to the AIP application form.  The requested AIP permit is usually issued within 35 days subject to the submission of a correct application form.

Acquisition of immovable property by bodies of persons

A body of persons, established in and operating from a European Union member state may freely acquire immovable property that is required for the purpose for which it has been set up as long as it is directly controlled and at least 75% of its share capital is held by a person (or persons) who is / are a European Union Member state citizen/s and who would have resided continuously in Malta for a minimum period of five years at any time preceding the date of acquisition. 

Any other body of persons will require a permit which is only granted if the property is required for an industrial or touristic project or as a contributor to the development of the economy of Malta. 

How can we help?  

For further information, please contact one of the firm’s tax partners, Stephen Balzan on [email protected] or Elaine Camilleri [email protected]. ACT can help you understand the changes to the tax rules and how these can impact your business.  

Apart from its offices in St. Julian’s Malta, ACT operates from a second office in Gozo, which is situated in the capital city of Victoria.  For an appointment in our Gozo office, please call on 00356 21378672 or send us an email on [email protected]. 

Disclaimer: This article contains general information only and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. ACT, by means of this article is not rendering any accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or other professional advice or service. This article is not a substitute for such professional advice, nor should it be used as a basis for any decision or action that may affect your finances or your business. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. Before making any decisions or before taking any action that may affect your finances or your business, you should consult a qualified professional adviser. ACT shall not be responsible for any loss whatsoever sustained by any person who relies on this article.