The Malta Independent 15 April 2021, Thursday

Pre-1995 rent reforms too little and too late, PN says

Saturday, 27 February 2021, 14:56 Last update: about 3 months ago

The reforms to pre-1995 rents announced by the government on Saturday are too little and too late to put tenants’ minds at rest and respect owners’ rights, the Nationalist Party said on Saturday.

In a statement reacting to the new reforms, which were announced by Prime Minister Robert Abela on Saturday, the PN through its social and affordable accommodation spokesperson Ivan Bartolo said that the changes announced were nothing more than window dressing before a general election.

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In the best of worlds, the reforms will simply postpone the problem and leave it to whoever succeeds Robert Abela to deal with, the party said.

The statement reads that the announcement is going to send thousands to court and increase the tensions between those who live in rented properties and those who own property which is rented out on the basis of pre-1995 rental agreements.

“It is clear that the Labour government is choosing to remain indifferent before a precarious situation which thousands of Maltese and Gozitan families are in”, the statement reads before placing particular emphasis on the elderly who live in such properties and may end up without a roof over their heads.

The party also said that the government is continuing to ignore the struggles of thousands of owners who want to enjoy their property as they rightfully should.

The PN insisted that the government is obliged to provide alternative accommodation to whoever needs it, while also ensuring that there is a just balance between the rights of the landowner and the right for every person to have a roof over their heads.

This balance cannot be reached if the government continues to fail to decisively and consistently address the lack of social accommodation in the country, they said.  Till this day, the PN pointed out, after almost eight years of a Labour government, not a single social apartment has been provided by the government, leading the Housing Authority with a waiting list that will never be addressed.
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