Property rental in Malta is a good idea, whether you are a landlord or a tenant. For a landlord the benefits are twofold - an extra source of income and their property is being occupied, rather than being left empty and prone to dilapidation. For a tenant, renting means not having to worry about saving the money for a down-payment on a property, taking out a home loan, or dealing with a mortgage. In both cases, however, there are also expenses and other factors which need to be considered to make the property liveable and rent-worthy.
Tips for the landlord
Spend wisely but keep the valuables at bay
Although you’re not going to be living in the place, that’s not a reason as to why you shouldn’t spend some money on doing it up. Having a property that is welcoming and presentable is going to help you rent it quicker, and often for a better price. Clearly, this does not mean that you should furnish it with antiques and Persian rugs. In fact, it’s wise to keep expensive pieces of furniture or pieces that have sentimental value in your own home; although you’ll meet your tenants beforehand and can decide whether you want them living in your property or not, accidents do happen, so it’s best to avoid them happening to valuable objects.
Choose furniture that is sturdy and durable. Scrimping on furniture costs will only cost you more in the long run as you’ll have to replace it when it breaks – and it will break. And that is no reason to try and scam tenants out of their deposit. The same goes for soft furnishings such as sheets and towels. While you don’t need to offer 100 per cent Egyptian cotton, do invest in bedding that will wash well and that looks good. Remember that tenants are judging your place based on what they see, so if either the curtains are torn, or the towels are tatty, they won’t be impressed. They may also find your asking price unreasonable based on the standard of the place.
You don’t need to spend extraordinary amounts of money on your rental property to make it presentable (unless you’re aiming for very high-end clients); the important thing is to buy decent, quality items that look good and that are resilient.
Tips for the tenant
Know your rights and boundaries
When renting a property, the contract often limits the changes that you can make to the property. However, even if you’re not allowed to change the wall colour (although if you’re opting for a long let you could make a deal with the landlord), it doesn’t mean that you must endure your landlord’s tastes in everything. While your landlord would probably have something to say if you started nailing into the wall of your own accord to hang your art, removing a frame from its hook and replacing it with your own picture should be acceptable, because no structural changes are being made. Changing pictures is a great way of making your rented pad feel like home because you can surround yourself with photos of friends and family, and happy memories. It’s also an inexpensive and temporary solution.
Another great way of injecting your own style is by adding cushions and throws in the living area. If the sofa is a dreary brown colour that makes you feel sad when entering the room, cover it with a bright throw and jazz it up.
Avoid doing anything that will give a landlord the opportunity to retain your deposit due to broken clauses in the contract. Always know what your rights and boundaries are.
As a tenant it’s important to remember that the property isn’t yours; if in doubt, ask your landlord about what changes are allowed. As a landlord, remember that your tenants are paying you money so it’s only fair to be flexible. Compromise and understanding between the parties will lead to a mutually beneficial relationship.