Budget 2022 highlights for property buyers: UCA grants and tax cuts, extension of stamp duty reduction for first-time buyers

Yesterday, the Government announced its budget for 2022, and included among the new measures were several incentives aimed to stimulate the property market in Malta.

The budget speech also confirmed that the stamp duty exemption for first-time buyers on the first €200,000 of their property value will be extended once more.

Promoting the conservation of older buildings

One of the most notable measures introduced in next year’s budget is the exemption from capital gains tax and duty on the first €750,000 of the value of properties which:

  • were built over 20 years ago and vacant for more than 7 years
  • are located in an Urban Conservation Area (UCA)

This exemption shall also apply to new properties built in a typical and traditional Maltese style and architecture.

Qualifying properties for which a promise of sale (konvenju) has already been entered into shall also benefit from this measure as long as the final contract has not been signed yet.

New incentives for first-time buyers

First-time buyers who purchase properties qualifying for the scheme above can also apply for a grant of €15,000 to help restore their home, while buyers of similar properties in Gozo will receive a grant of double the amount at €30,000.

Moreover, current and prospective owners of qualifying properties may alsobenefit from a VAT refund of up to €54,000 on the first €300,000 spent on refurbishment works.

These measures will enter into effect from the 12th of October 2021 for a period of three years.

Other measures for property buyers

The government has also announced that it will extend again the stamp duty exemption offered to first-time buyers on the first €200,000 of the value of the property, while second-time buyers will benefit from a refund of duty on the first €86,000 of the new property (the first €150,000 for people with disability or their guardians).

Transfers inter vivos of residential properties in Gozo will be chargeable at a rate of duty of €2 for every €100, or part thereof.

The reduction of stamp duty rate to 1.5% on the first €400,000 of the property value and lowering of income tax on capital gains to 5% on property transfers will not be renewed and shall expire in June 2022.

Increase in property donations as clients take advantage of reduced stamp duty before deadline

Traditional Maltese door knocker on a blue door. Notaries report an increase in clients donating property to take advantage of reduced stamp duty.

UPDATE: The government plans to extend by another 4 months the measure which reduced stamp duty to 1.5%. Acquirers will have until the end of July to sign a promise of sale and benefit from the reduced rate.

We’ll keep you posted about further announcements.

The first weeks of 2021 have brought about a significant increase in the number of clients donating property to their descendants in order to benefit from the fiscal incentives introduced by the government last year, namely lowering stamp duty to 1.5%, which is set to end in July 2021.

With regards to taxation, donations made by parents in favour of their children were always exempt from tax. Stamp duty for the beneficiaries of the donation, on the other hand, was a different story. 

Until a few months ago, the normal rate for stamp duty was either 3.5% or 5% depending on the type of property being transferred. The government reduced stamp duty to 1.5% in a bid to stimulate the economy at the height of the corona pandemic, prompting a rush among clients seeking to save thousands of euros on their tax bill before the incentive expires.

An incentive that interests youngsters as well as their parents

With regards to taxation, donations made by parents in favour of their children are exempt from tax. Stamp duty, on the other hand, is a different story.

In the light of the reduced stamp duty currently in effect in Malta, as well as the increase in the upper threshold of the property value that is eligible for a duty exemption, the present situation offers a win-win scenario for parents and their offspring.

Both parties will save money when transferring property via donation; this ensures the best possible start to a new chapter in life, whether you’re flying out of the nest or helping your children build their own.

How does donating property figure in with legacy planning and making a will?

Transfer of property from parents to their children is more often than not a matter reserved to wills. However, any inherited property which is not the residence of the deceased is subject to 5% stamp duty as the law currently stands.

The unique circumstances faced by families in Malta during the past year, and the government’s response to address difficulties, have opened up a potentially brief window whereby donating property confers significant savings over transferring them through a will.

More importantly, your children or loved ones can become homeowners (or run a business, or manage property you already intended for them to have one day) with the least pressure on their finances and for life goals.

Donating property in 2021; how to secure the best outcome for your family members

As you can see, donating property is probably the best strategy at the moment for families who wish to pass on a residential or commercial property to descendants without burdening them with additional expenses.

In fact, many notaries are experiencing a “rush” in clients who want to take advantage of the current scenario and transfer property to their children at the reduced stamp duty of 1.5% instead of the usual 3.5–5%. This could translate into immediate savings of thousands of euros depending on property value. 

However, the government’s fiscal incentives are due to expire soon. The looming deadline has led to a considerable spike in inquiries about property donations by interested parties and increased notarial work in this area. 

The reduced stamp duty will apply to all property transfer agreements signed by the end of July, so now is the perfect time to consider property donation as a means to ensure your family’s comfort and financial security throughout the new year and beyond.

If you are interested in knowing more about donating property to family members, especially if your children and loved ones qualify for tax benefits to first-time buyers, send me an email to discuss your needs. 

Make sure to check out this guide to selling and buying immovable property, which lists all the steps and documents you need, as well as this overview of the standard fees involved.

Budget 2021: Improved Incentives for First Time Property Buyers

UPDATE: The government plans to extend again the measure which reduced stamp duty to 1.5%. Acquirers will have until the end of July to sign a promise of sale and benefit from the reduced rate.

We’ll keep you posted about further announcements.

The existing scheme to aid buyers in purchasing their first home is being extended, with the property value eligible for duty exemption increased from the current upper-limit of €175,000 to €200,000.

This incentive and others affecting the real estate sector have been announced on Monday in the Budget 2021 speech. Yesterday’s budget also extended the reduced duties announced earlier this year as part of the COVID-19 economic regeneration plan.

Reduced stamp duty of 1.5% and Final Withholding Tax of 5% for Inter Vivos transfers will apply to promise-of-sale agreements made until March 2021, and until the end of 2021 for the signing of contracts of sale.

Other property incentives

Duty on property donations is also being eased, with the first €250,000 in the value of a property being exempt, an increase from the previous threshold of €200,000. Amounts in excess of €250,000 shall be subject to duty at the rate of 3.5%

The rate of duty on the acquisition of residential properties is being reduced to 3.5% on the first €200,000.

Reduction in duty for second-time buyers is also being extended to acquisitions made throughout 2021. This scheme allows individuals who sell their first residence to purchase another home to claim a duty refund of up to €3,000 if it is their sole property.

Extension of reduced duty rates on the acquisition of properties located in an Urban Conservation Area (UCA) or in Gozo. The current duty of 2.5% (down from the previous rate of 5%) will continue to apply during 2021

During 2021, all profits derived from the assignment of rights on a promise of sale relating to immovable property will be taxed at a final tax rate of 15% increased from the first €100,000.

UPDATED: Fiscal incentives for property buyers and sellers: Stamp duty reduced to 1.5%; final withholding tax to 5%

UPDATE: The government plans to extend again the measure which reduced stamp duty to 1.5%. Acquirers will have until the end of July to sign a promise of sale and benefit from the reduced rate.

We’ll keep you posted about further announcements.

The government announced temporary financial incentives for Maltese property buyers and sellers as part of a COVID-19 economic recovery package launched on 8th June 2020.

Legal Notices 240/2020 and 241/2020, concerning the payment of stamp duty and property transfer tax, provide for the following revisions to the fees that must be paid for contracts that occur by 1st April 2021:

  • Property buyers will see their stamp duty reduced to 1.5% from the present rate of 5%. Schemes that are currently in existence (such as First Time Buyers and UCA Scheme) can be used in conjunction with this rate of stamp duty.
  • Property sellers will pay a final withholding tax of 5%, a decrease from the 8% / 10% tax currently in place.

These reductions apply to property values up to a maximum of €400,000.

Properties valued over this amount will have the reduced rates applied to the first €400,000. Any fees due over and above this amount will be calculated at the normal rates.

Donations of immovable property (under Article 32C of the main Act) are not subject to the revised stamp duty rates.

The new measures apply to transfers of immovable property made on or after the 9th June 2020, but before 1st April 2021. These transfers will qualify for the reduced rates if the notice of the final deed is given to the Commissioner for Revenue by 30th April 2021.

In a related announcement, the government said it will also amend the First time Buyers Scheme so that people who had previously bought any property that doesn’t constitute a residence (e.g. a garage) will be able to qualify for this scheme when purchasing a new home.

Resumption of Legal Times for Promise of Sale Agreements(konvenji)

The order for the indefinite suspension of promises of sale has been revoked according to a legal notice published this morning by the Ministry of Justice, Equality and Governance, and the Superintendence of Public Health. This new directive is effective immediately.

All agreements have had their validity extended by 20 days.

Moreover, to ensure a more streamlined return to normal of notarial work, contracts will be extended by an additional period calculated on the number of days between the beginning of the suspension on 16th March 2020 and its lifting today or the contract’s expiry date, whichever comes first.

  • Example 1: A promise of sale that expired on 16th March 2020, will only be extended by the 20 days provided for by the legal notice.

  • Example 2: A promise of sale that expired on 6th April 2020, will be extended by the number of days elapsed from the start of the suspension—21 days—and an extra 20 days, for a total of 41 days from the 22/05/2020 (the day the suspension was lifted)

  • Example 3: A promise of sale that hasn’t expired yet will be extended by the entire duration of the suspension—67 days—and an extra 20 days, for a total of 87 days from the expiry date.

Due to remaining COVID-19 restriction measures and the backlog of contracts accumulated, it is expected that banks will offer limited appointments for the signing of contracts in the foreseeable future.

Clients are advised to refer to the terms of their loan agreements and contact their bank in case of any difficulty.

The Importance of Making a Will

Death and dying are probably the most uncomfortable topics of discussion — especially among family members — but they still exert an inescapable influence on personal decisions and behaviour even if we prefer not to talk about them. 

Nowhere is this influence more evident than when people make plans for the future. In fact, the importance of thinking about what happens after we’re gone is heightened if there are loved ones involved, especially vulnerable persons and minors.

Wills are a logical solution to a difficult situation

In my role as a notary public, I find myself on the “frontline”, so to speak, of these existential moments, when people begin to consider seriously what will happen after their passing.

Thankfully, our society offers various legal instruments that allow people to protect the things they worked hard for, safeguard the well-being of their descendants, and ensure that everything they hold dear is taken care of upon death. 

All this can be achieved through the relatively inexpensive and straightforward process of publishing a will. You can find more information about wills and inheritance here, and I’ll be happy to answer your questions about this essential service.

The benefits of making a will

During times when society faces a collective difficulty, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, issues of mortality come to the fore and notaries are inundated with requests to publish wills. 

However, it should not take a deadly virus for clients to consider making a will. In this post, I shall list several beneficial reasons for making a will to prove why it is such an important aspect of long-term personal and family estate planning.

Control the distribution of your assets

Dying intestate, without a will, allows the estate of the deceased to be disposed of according to the law of intestate successionthe standard law which applies by default, instead of their wishes. A will allows people to make these decisions themselves and control who receives the inheritance they leave behind. 

It is also possible to nominate an executor in the will, a person who is appointed to distribute assets according to the instructions left, as well as pay any outstanding debts or taxes.

By having the testator’s wishes written down explicitly, the notary and relatives can execute them as they have been communicated, thus protecting the estate from legal contestations and saving the heirs time and money.

Regulate property acquired in Malta

This is especially relevant to foreigners who have purchased a property in Malta but do not reside on the islands. By drafting a Maltese will, the property owners will be in a better position to control how property in Malta is disposed of among their heirs.

Make it easier for relatives to deal with personal affairs

Having a will helps avoid all kinds of complications that could arise after one’s death, and which very often have to be handle by the distraught relatives. A very important case is the appointment of a guardian who will look after minor children and vulnerable relatives.

Support charities and other causes

An important use of wills is to make donations to charitable foundations or other causes that a person has supported throughout their life. Benefactors can ensure the continued operation and success of these organisations even after their demise.

Enjoy greater peace of mind and security

Both you and your family will feel more at ease by having a plan in place that clearly shows how future affairs should be handed. Moreover, the benefits can also be felt while a person is still alive since a will can be reviewed and updated to reflect the testator’s situation and their wishes as they change over time.

It’s never too early to plan for tomorrow

Publishing a will is a delicate process, which comes with a lot of responsibility for notaries. It is for this reason, and all the benefits listed above, that I encourage clients, even younger individuals and couples, to make a will early on in their life. 

There’s no need to wait for a pandemic or disaster to strike! A will is truly one of the simplest and most effective ways to protect our interests and those of our loved ones when we are not able to keep doing it ourselves.

COVID-19: Suspension of legal times relating to promise of sale agreements, notarial and related matters

In response to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak in Malta, the Government has taken several legal measures to fight the effects of this infectious disease. One of these measures was an order for the closure of the courts from Monday, 16th March 2020, through Legal Notice 65 of 2020.

In addition to the closure of the courts, the Government, after discussions with the Notarial Council, has also suspended the legal times relating to promise of sale agreements, notarial, and other related matters, via Legal Notice 75 of 2020 published on Tuesday, 17th March 2020.

These steps have been taken to safeguard the rights of clients that use the services of a notary public and supposedly to attempt to reduce the number of people gathering in crowded rooms to sign contracts.

According to the legal notice:

The Superintendent of Public Health has made the following order…

the suspension of the running of all the legal terms imposed on a notary public by law to register any deed, will, act or private writing…

or any period within which the notary public, in terms of any applicable law, has to pay taxes collected by him in the exercise of his profession.”

Read the legal notice here

The effects of this notice are summarised below:

  • Suspension of the terms applicable by law for the notary public to register public deeds, wills, and private writing.
  • Suspension of the terms during which the notary public must collect taxes, as well as of fiscal benefits, incentives or other exemptions.
  • Suspension of the obligations on the notary public to provide information or documentation to authorities or regulators.
  • Suspension of the terms on all promises of sales that have already been registered with the Commissioner of Revenue. This does not require the signatures of the parties involved.
  • The suspension shall last until twenty days after the repeal of any such order by the Superintendent of Public Health.

The summary is also available in Maltese below:

During the time the courts are closed, and for twenty days after their reopening, the term of a promise of sale agreement is to be considered paused or suspended.

If your promise of sale is due to expire on the 8th of May, one has to count the number of days from the 16th of March (i.e. the day of the order of closure of the courts) that works out to 53 days and add another 20 days to that number for a total of 73 days.

This period will start running from the day when the courts re-open. Therefore, the promise of sale described above would be valid for an additional 73 days from when court re-opens.

Following this order, the Notarial Council, in these unprecedented circumstances, exhorts all Notaries to follow the health authorities’ recommendation of extended social distancing, in the greater interest of public health, and only perform strictly necessary services which cannot admit of delay.

A Guide to Notaries’ Fees and Expenses in Malta

Everyone will encounter notarial fees and expenses at some point in their life, so it is important for the public to be informed of what these expenses consist of, as well as to know of any services which are available to them in order to ensure a more streamlined experience.

This article will cover the essential points which people should be aware of; such as that notarial fees are regulated by law and thus should be standard, and that there is a difference between fees and expenses.

We’ll also explain how to use the billing calculator offered by the Kunsill Notarili ta’ Malta, which is available to the public to calculate the exact the fees established by law, making it simpler for people to calculate what they owe and avoid any unwanted surprises.

Find the billing calculator at: http://www.notariesofmalta.org/members/calculators/bills/

Notaries’ fees are standard by law

Firstly, it is important to emphasise that notarial fees should be standard as they are regulated by law – namely Chapter 55 of the Laws of Malta. The law states that notaries should thus charge circa the same amount for the same service.

In Chapter 55, under Notarial Profession and Notarial Archives of the Laws of Malta, one can find a list of services provided by notaries and the corresponding fees, with the ranges from the minimum to the maximum amount also listed to give the public an idea of what they should be charged. The public can easily make use of this service and a glance at this document will give people a guide as to what they can expect to pay when visiting a notary for whichever service they require.

Fees and expenses are two different things    

However, the public should keep in mind that there is a difference between fees and expenses, and the following points will outline in which circumstances these expenses may vary. While notarial fees should be standard, expenses may increase in the following circumstances:

  • Searches: a complicated root title can lead to expensive, time-consuming searches and thus will increase the expense from the usual standard fee.
  • Land Registration Area: if a property falls within a Land Registration Area, the transfer of property needs to be registered at the Land Registry, in addition to the normal Public Registry registrations.
  • Examination of root title: in this case the Notary can choose which percentage to apply as the choice would vary depending on the complexity of the searches, as well as the time spent on vetting.
  • Burdens on property: when there are burdens on property, such as when a hypothec needs to be cancelled so that no third parties will have any rights over the property, this counts as a burden and thus involves extra work for the notary.

Since these circumstances involve extra work for the notary and often with no defined time limit, the related expenses will go beyond standard fees and is up to the notary to define.

How to use the online billing calculator

An online billing calculator is also available for the public, provided by the Notaries of Malta, which is extremely useful to calculate, in detail, the many fees and expenses that one might encounter when dealing with a Notary.

Next, we shall give a rundown of how you should use this billing calculator to your own benefit.

General Details

At the top of the calculator the ‘General Details’ are required:

  • Client Name
  • Legal Service
  • Invoice Date


‘Disbursements’ is the next section of the calculator, with several categories listed in one column, such as Property Transfer Value, Value of any Other Hypothec to be registered, Total Cost of Searches, etc. There are also 4 other different columns:

  • A column with the Euro sign listed where the public can input the amount according to the category.
  • A second column where additional amounts can be inputted, or rates and fees can be selected.
  • The third column is darker than the rest and shows the duty owed automatically once a Euro amount is inputted.
  • The last column is for Other Registrations. All fees indicated with ‘GL’ mean that these are according to Notarial Council Guidelines whilst other fees are established by law.

Total Disbursements

At the bottom of this section ‘Total Disbursements’ is also listed, which is automatically added up as you input your figures.


The next section of the calculator is ‘Fees’. Again, here there are 5 columns:

  • List of Fees, such as ‘Promise of Sale’, ‘No. of Searches Ordered’, ‘Submission of Inland Revenue Tax’ and more.
  • The second column allows users to input a Euro amount, however, users can also tick or untick a checkbox, or select from a drop-down menu of options depending on the category.
  • The third column also indicates Euro amount and users can also select from a drop-down menu of fees.
  • The next two columns are the same as the two last columns mentioned above.

At the bottom of this section the ‘Total Fees (excluding VAT)’ is listed.

There is also a section entitled ‘Duty on Documents’ where the Duty on Documents – Ordinary Residence is listed, and a mini Duty on Documents calculator is also provided when clicking on the third column, which allows the public to calculate how much duty is owed. The ‘Less provisional tax paid’ is also included in this section.

Balances due

The final section is ‘Balances due’ which includes:

  • VAT on Fees (18%)
  • Total fees and total disbursements
  • Duty on Documents tax balance

And finally, at the very bottom of the calculator is the ‘Final Balance’ where the public can view the final amount due. Since notarial services are quite personalised and may vary according to what services are required, this calculator is essential in order to organise the many fees and expenses owed, as well as avoiding any surprises when it comes to settling the final balance.

Know the costs before your next notary’s appointment

Notarial fees and expenses usually follow a standard rate as set by law, however, personalised services and unforeseen complications may result in additional expenses, which are up to the notary to decide on depending on several factors.

The public can thus make use of the online billing calculator in order to make this whole process that much easier, by providing a detailed calculation of the total fees owed.

Summary of Gov’t White Paper about Rental Market 2018

In October 2018, the Parliamentary Secretariat for Social Accommodation within the Maltese government published a 40-page white paper titled Renting as a Housing Alternative, which aimed to offer “a carefully studied approach that [provides] landlords and tenants with greater stability and security.”

This article summarises the content of the white paper and highlights the most important changes being suggested to improve management of the Private Rental Sector (PRS).

Changing society, changing households

“Homeownership [is] still perceived as an ideal in our society, [but] there are serious social indicators and cultural shifts which are pushing locals into rented accommodation.”

Recent data about the rental market confirms that the tenant population in Malta has risen significantly in recent years and that current developments in the property market are pointing towards decreasing affordability.

The white paper lists five social, political and economic forces that may explain this phenomenon:

  1. Gentrification
  2. Homelessness
  3. Shared housing
  4. Unhomeliness, transience and anxiety
  5. Employment instability

The document also lists nine shortcomings of the current regulatory system:

  1. Rental agreements are generally offered from six months to one year
  2. Agreements do not always foresee the possibility for renewal
  3. Notice periods are too short to enable tenants to find alternative accommodation
  4. No national register for agreements
  5. No draft contract template that ensures legal conformity
  6. No entity capable of deciding minor issues quickly
  7. No Tenancy Deposit Scheme which protects deposits and ensures a timely return
  8. No system or guidelines to manage Housing in Multiple Occupancy (HMOs)
  9. No entity to inform landlords and tenants of their rights and responsibilities

The Maltese regulatory framework from a comparative European perspective

Rent-regulating mechanisms are being revised across most European countries as the intensifying demographic pressures is threatening housing affordability and stability.

State intervention in the PRS is neither contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights nor any European Union instrument. The belief that government intervention in the PRS leads to its paralysis is an erroneous one, which is readily dispelled by the experience of other European countries.

The negative Maltese experience with rent control mechanisms stems from the fact that Government had employed extremely strict measures in the past. Since the end of the 1980s, when the Maltese economy undertook a series of pro-market policies, there has been a general negative political attitude towards any form of government intervention.

The weakness of the current Maltese regulatory model when compared with the legal regimes in place in other EU countries reveals how Malta merely conceives rentals as a short-term tenure.


“Measures proposed for the regulation of the PRS should only be applicable to rental agreements negotiated for a primary residential purpose.”

  • Reform the regulatory framework so that it also covers particular instances of short-term agreements, e.g. temporary workers and students.
  • Manage the sector more effectively by promoting:
    • a minimum contractual term with periodical rent increases
    • the capping of increases during the contractual term
    • the optimisation of the rent subsidy scheme

“This White Paper puts forward two distinct frameworks, both aiming to promote a longer contractual duration for residential leases. The first framework proposes a mandatory minimum contractual duration (fig. A) whilst the second one presents a model where longer leases are promoted through fiscal incentives (fig. B).”


Contractual term

  • A standard minimum contractual duration of several years would go a long way in rendering leases a more stable tenure.
  • Medium-term contracts will not prejudice the landlords’ economic position; they are also compatible with the regular contracts of employment entered by foreign tenants as well as their average stays in Malta.
  • A longer contractual period would also allow local households to create homes in their rented accommodation.

Compulsory period for tenant and notice of withdrawal

  • Tenants should remain free to withdraw unilaterally from the contract, if they give due notice to the landlord and only after a minimum contractual period would have lapsed.

Notice of termination or renewal by landlord

  • The landlord would by not be bound to renew the lease; however, notice of termination must be given to the tenant by not later than a specified prior to the expiry of the agreement.
  • Failure to do so would result in the agreement being prolonged for a further term at the same conditions as the previous one.

Predictable rent increases

  • The Property Price Index (PPI) remains, for the time being, the most adequate tool to regulate increases, although government should additionally consider a cap beyond which rents would not be able to rise.

Measures to improve the functioning of the Private Rental Sector

“[During research,] both landlords and tenants expressed concerns on the poor management of the sector, starting from the formalisation of the agreement to the process of eviction in the case of contractual default.”

  • Amend laws to reduce court delays in the eviction process.
  • Submit a declaration of deposit and present an inventory with the contract.
  • Create a new public agency that oversees the registration and enforcement of private residential leases.
  • Optimise rent subsidy schemes by introducing individualised means-testing
  • Encourage payment by bank transfer, rather than in cash.
  • Give tenants direct access to the water and electricity services on their rented premises, as well as to their bills.

More affordable housing

“Beyond the measures designed to improve the management of the PRS, the ultimate solution to the rental problem lies in a stronger supply of affordable housing.”

“The most effective solution lies in the diversification of the housing market through limited profit or not-for-profit building.”

  • Give owners of vacant dwellings grants to carry out repairs and make the property habitable again.
  • Diversify the marketing with Third Sector Housing through limited-profit or not-for-profit entities tasked with constructing affordable housing on public land.
  • Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs).

Other long-term measures

  • Identify a minimum habitability standard for rented properties.
  • Regulate houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), where many tenants are residing and living communally due to constraints.
  • Regulate estate agents and assessing which professional standards they are expected to meet.

You can read and download the full white paper at this link (opens PDF file).


New Office Opened in Valletta

The team at VMY is proud to welcome clients to our brand-new office at number 52, Old Bakery Street in Valletta. The opening of a second office was the culmination of almost three years of hard work to convert what was initially a disused and derelict building into a modern and comfortable workspace.

Preserving traditional Maltese architecture

We bought the property in September 2015 from a lawyer who also intended to use it as an office but never actually used it as such. The building is located at the middle of a street where all the major law firms in Valletta are situated, so it seems quite appropriate that this gem should also be considered a desirable location for a legal practice.

Even before we acquired this place, it already had somewhat of a reputation as a landmark in the area because it’s the tallest building in Old Bakery Street. Unfortunately, the building was abandoned and left to deteriorate for many years, and it was in a very bad state when we found it. The last time the building was used was by the owners of a cigarette factory around 40 years ago; fast forward to the present day, and all the apertures were broken, there was no functioning plumbing system, and a load bearing wall that was holding seven storeys had to be demolished.

Because of the huge amount of work it took just to make this building safe and prepare it for the installation of modern amenities, we had to keep this project under wraps and delay our move there for a long time. Once the structure was sound again, we immediately set to work preserving the traditional Maltese architecture that was present, including the typical stone walls and stone arches.

In keeping with the aesthetics of our Rabat office, we married the traditional look with modern features in the Valletta building too. The latter has since been converted into a clean and bright marble-clad space with various French eclectic touches.

Former home of Malta’s national poet

But the most surprising fact about Number 52 is that it used to be the home of Malta’s national poet, Dun Karm Psaila. It also apparently used to be known as no. 51, before the door changed to the present number.

Right above the building door, there is a marble plaque unveiled in 1967 that commemorates the fact that Dun Karm resided there for 26 years and wrote his first poems in Maltese while living there. This is also mentioned in Dun Karm’s biography by Ġużè Cardona, which points out that the poet rented an apartment in the building and spent a lot of time in solitude away from his friends and family. It was during this time that he wrote several of his famed poems like Quddiem Xbieha tal-Madonna and Il-Musbieħ tal-Mużew.

A humble gem shining with new purpose

The opening of the Valletta office marks a new chapter in the growth of VMY’s notarial practice. When we first began operating from the Rabat office, our scope was similar to other small, village practices that focus primarily on serving the legal needs of the people living in the surrounding community.

As our team grew and our clients’ needs increased proportionally, we started taking seriously the option of expanding to a more central location. Our new office at no. 52, Old Bakery Street in Valletta is at the heart of the nation’s legal and financial hub, which gives us a privileged position that lets us manage our work and serve our clients more efficiently.

We will still operate from the Rabat office a few days a week, however we heartily encourage our clients spread across Malta to take advantage of our new central location and come see us in Valletta.


Make a notary’s appointment here