A white paper to consult on better regulation of estate agents and consultants in Malta is being prepared by the government, it has been announced, and the move has been welcomed by one top agent
The Maltese government is set to consult on regulation of real estate agents and consultants, it has announced.
In the coming months, the government will issue a White Paper on Better Regulation of the Estate Agent Sector to consult over regulating real estate agents and property agents and consultants, it announced in this week’s 2015 Budget.
The real estate sector in Malta is currently unregulated and anyone can set themselves up as an agent.
The move has been welcomed by leading agency Frank Salt Real Estate Limited, which backs industry regulation, as long as it is stringent and monitored so the rules would be adhered to.
Nick Bilocca, of Frank Salt, has told OPP Connect that the government has not made it clear exactly what the aims of the white paper might be.
“I would think they want a system were people would have some kind of accreditation, which would be a very good thing, as long as the requirements are stringent and are monitored so they would be adhered to.
“We have taxi drivers over here who can be estate agents. People arriving here get into a taxi and are asked what they are doing. They say they are looking for property and the taxi driver says, ‘I know someone who is selling a property – and there you have an estate agent.”
“We work hard to make sure that people trust estate agents, even more so with the lack of accreditation.
“Frank Salt formed the Malta Federation of Estate Agents that number of agency firms joined. Maybe the government wants to get involved with that.”
The Federation of Estate Agents aims to work hand-in-hand with the government and other real estate industry bodies. Its members represent a large majority of estate agents on the Maltese islands.
There was some good news in the 2015 Budget for property buyers, as the Maltese government is extending its stamp duty refund of up to €5,250 for first-time domestic and overseas property purchasers
The First Time Buyer Scheme for those purchasing property as a residence will now last until 30 June 2015.
Frank Salt Real Estate is also extending its First Time Buyer scheme, which offers free home insurance and various vouchers, until 30 June 2015.
In addition, the Maltese government aims to continue to simplify and strengthen the tax system relating to the choice of main residence for tax purposes, when it was a main residence for more than three years. It plans to introduce a system where individuals are required to state their main residence, according to transparent rules and conditions.
By Adrian Bishop, Editor, OPP Connect