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Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Re-balancing the Respective Rights & Obligations of Lessors and Lessees

This article was written by​ Dr. Stephen Muscat and Daniel VancellIntroductionThe Reletting of Urban Property (Regulation) Ordinance, Chapter 69 of the Laws of Malta (the "Ordinance"), has been recently amended by virtue of Act XXIV of 20211. The main goal for the introduction of the Ordinance, originally, was to protect the interest of the public by establishing a type of lease which would automatically renew itself and could not be terminated unilaterally upon its expiration. A problem that arose under the Ordinance was the fact that this law placed a restriction on the amount of rent a lessor may demand,…
Stephen Muscat
31st August 2021
Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Two Landmark judgments by the European Court of Human Rights against Malta

In the Case of Aquilina v Malta (Application no. 40246/18) decided on 9 June 2020 and the Case of Montanaro and Others v. Malta (Application no. 29964/18) decided on 1 September 2020, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) overturned yet another decision taken by the Constitutional Court here in Malta. Both judgments dealt with the 1979 amendments to Chapter 158 whereby a temporary emphyteusis (cens) would upon termination convert into a protected lease. The law has been found in breach of human rights in several cases both in Malta and in Strasbourg. However, in the cases of Aquilina and…
Michael E. Camilleri
4th September 2020
Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Constitutional Court Increases Damages Due to Landlords of Sliema Property Because of Prejudicial Rent Laws

This article was written by Michael E. Camilleri & Ilenia AgiusIn a judgment delivered on 20th July 2020, the Constitutional Court ordered the State Advocate to pay €250,000 in damages, including moral damages, to the landlords of a property in The Strand, Sliema. The property in question was initially acquired in 1919 by title of temporary emphyteusis which is to expire in 2028. In 1976 the emphyteuta leased the property at an annual rent of Lm4,000 subject to an increase of 5% every five years. The parties had also agreed to enter into a new lease agreement after the lapse of fifteen…
Michael E. Camilleri
31st July 2020
Litigation & Dispute Resolution

THE CASE OF BUTTIGIEG AND OTHERS v. MALTA (Application no. 22456/15) 11 December 2018

The applicants are the owners of an apartment in Melita Street, Valletta which was inherited from their father who died in September 2006. The father of the applicants and his brothers had entered into a contract granting a temporary emphyteusis on August 4, 1981.In this contract the apartment was given for a period of 17 years on temporary emphyteusis which commenced on August 12, 1981 and the ground rent was set at Lm120 annually. The concession expired on August 11, 1998 but in virtue of Article 12(2)(b)(i) of Chapter 158 of the Laws of Malta the tenants had the right…
Michael E. Camilleri
14th December 2018
Litigation & Dispute Resolution

THE CASE OF BUTTIGIEG AND OTHERS v. MALTA (Application no. 22456/15) 11 December 2018

The applicants are the owners of an apartment in Melita Street, Valletta which was inherited from their father who died in September 2006. The father of the applicants and his brothers had entered into a contract granting a temporary emphyteusis on August 4, 1981.In this contract the apartment was given for a period of 17 years on temporary emphyteusis which commenced on August 12, 1981 and the ground rent was set at Lm120 annually. The concession expired on August 11, 1998 but in virtue of Article 12(2)(b)(i) of Chapter 158 of the Laws of Malta the tenants had the right…
Michael E. Camilleri
14th December 2018
Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Amendments to Housing (Decontrol) Ordinance (Chapter 158 of the Laws of Malta)

Amendments to Chapter 158 were introduced by Act No. XXVII of 2018. The amendments affect the leases created by virtue of a previous title of emphyteusis or sub-emphyteusis which commenced before the 1st June 1995 through the application of article 5, 12, or 12A of Chapter 158.The constitutionality of the provisions of Chapter 158 has been challenged repeatedly in front of the Maltese Courts and in front of the European Court in Strasbourg. Since the case of Amato Gauci v. Malta, (App no 47045/06 ), the majority of the cases brought by owners arguing a breach of their rights to…
Michael E. Camilleri
10th August 2018