Protected rents reform: ‘We will not leave pensioners alone’

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The government will protect every pensioner who will be affected by the protected rents reform, Minister for Social Accommodation Roderick Galdes said during a virtual meeting with the National Association of Pensioners, in which the proposed law and its workings were explained to those present.

As part of a major reform centred on pre-1995 rents, landlords of properties bound under pre-1995 rents will be able to claim up to 2% of the property’s market value in rent. This reform also means that property owners will not have the right to throw out tenants, thus nobody will end up without a roof over their heads, the government previously said.

Minister Galdes reiterated that a substantial benefit issued by the government will cover any rental increase that the pensioner will incur so that, while the landlord shall be receiving a fair return, this will not influence the quality of life of the pensioner in question.

“Out of 10,000 families, we found that a substantial number are pensioners. On behalf of the government, I am conveying the message that we will act as a shield for the affected pensioners, by means of a benefit that can reach up to €10,000 per year, depending on the property’s value. Hence, this much needed reform is being carried out with a social conscience,” Minister Galdes said.

He added that the government could not disregard the current situation and not act on the matter, when cases in both the European Courts of Human Rights and the Maltese Court of Justice were being decided against the State and by extension, the tenants. Therefore, he described this reform as a necessary, balanced and timely intervention.

The Pensioners’ Association stated that it welcomed the proposed reform. The Association acknowledges the challenge in finding a balance between landlords’ rights and tenant protection, but said that this seems to be a step in the right direction.

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