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Fifteen (15) people have been found guilty of breaking the new rent law since 2020, being collectively fined a total of €36,050, according to new information tabled in Parliament by Minister for Social and Affordable Accommodation Roderick Galdes.

The Minister also revealed that 57 persons – 36 men and 21 women – have faced charges for breaking provisions laid out in the Act on Private Residential Leases. Of these, 53 were Maltese. The rest included two Italians, one Spaniard, and one person from Georgia.

A total of 15 of these charges resulted in fines: two of €3,000, 12 of €2,500, and one fine of €50.

Minister Galdes was responding to a question about rent regulation law infringements posed by Opposition MP Karol Aquilina.

Speaking to BusinessNow.mt, Dr Aquilina says that no information was provided about the specific provisions these individuals ran afoul of. Referring to legislation, he notes that fines may be given to all those who rent a property – or a space within a property, like a room – without abiding with the law.

Fines may also be handed down for interfering with Housing Authority officials’ work, failing to conform to any reasonable requirements communicated by officials, or providing false information.

A separate question, also posed by Dr Aquilina, related to complaints that end up before the Adjudication Panel of the Housing Authority.

Minister Galdes stated that the panel received 625 claims since it was founded in 2020. Of these, 395 were decided, while 84 claims were withdrawn.

Another 146 cases are pending a decision, but the adjudication panel can only proceed on eight of these, the Minister said. The rest are awaiting the notification of the accused – an unlikely prospect if the defendant has left the country.

The main reasons people turn to the authority, added Minister Gales, are disagreements over the deposit, utilities and damages.

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