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Understanding Utilities

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Paying for water and electricity while renting in Malta can be complicated.

Paying for water and electricity while renting in Malta can be complicated. To avoid paying way more than you should, this is what you need to do:

 

- Get meter readings when you move in. Take a photograph and if possible, include the readings into the contract.

- Before you sign a contract, ask for the bills to be put into your name (this is the ideal but not all landlords will do it, especially for shorter lets, because it can cause them a lot of paperwork when you leave). It requires Form F. Submit to ARMs, the private company that deals with billing for Enemalta and the Water Services Corporation.

- Once the bills are in your name, fill in the form to ensure you get the right tariff.

- Alternatively, you can ask to be listed as the ‘named registered consumer’ on the account holder/owners bills.

- If the landlord/lady will not do either, then they must at least ensure that the meter is set to the ‘residential tariff with full eco reductions’. If not, you’ll be paying a much higher rate than you need to. Ensure the correct number of inhabitants is registered  – if it is set at zero, you’ll pay too much again. The landlord/lady should make the change for you using Form H (above) signed by them; your ID card may need to be registered.

- If they will not, you should be able to do this yourself at ARMs. Take your rental contract and the ID card of all tenants. You do not need the landlord/lady’s permission to do this.

- Check on your first bill that the  ‘number of residents’ and ‘consumer scheme’ is correct; it should say ‘residential’.

- If you have been overcharged in the past, you can claim this money back using Form H1.

Do not pay any utility bills without being given a copy of the bill or at least by calculating your bill based on your readings on the ARMS online calculator.

- Bills should come every two months but in practice are much more erratic. Work out what you will need to pay on the ARMs website: www.smartutilities.com.mt. The FAQ section under ‘Help’ has a lot of useful information on it.

Check the water tanks, as you will be paying for any leaks.

- You might want to negotiate these details into the contract. If the landlord/lady is difficult about this, it might be worth going elsewhere – there’s a good chance they are not paying tax on the apartment if they won’t change the tariff. There will be other apartments.


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