Minister Roderick Galdes in a meeting with the Chamber of Architects and Civil Engineers on the reform of protected leases
Minister for Social Accommodation Roderick Galdes acknowledged that justice in the rental sector can only be carried out when the rent payable is linked to the real property value. This is one of the main aspects that the reform of protected rents shall be addressing.
This was stated during a meeting held between the Chamber of Architects and Civil Engineers, representatives of the Housing Authority, and the Ministry for Social Accommodation.
Minister Galdes claimed that, in order for justice to be carried out, the real property value will be determined by the assessment of the experts appointed by the Rent Regulation Board, who in this field are the architects. “Architects will play an essential role in this, as they have the experience, knowledge and impartiality needed to decide on the valuation of the property. Their independent and impartial judgment is necessary in addressing any doubts, stopping abuse, and strengthening this system we are introducing. Proudly I can say that once again my Ministry is working hand in hand with the Chamber of Architects and Civil Engineers for the good of our society. This collaboration is already bearing fruit, as has already been proven in the Specialised Housing programme, and various other initiatives,” concluded Minister Galdes.
While the reform will be guaranteeing justice to landlords, it will also be giving reassurance to tenants, in particular pensioners and the lower wage earners. After a means testing exercise, the government will be of assistance by means of a strong benefit, covering any rental increase for pensioners and ensuring that no one pays more than they can afford. The Housing Authority, through a specialised unit, will also offer holistic assistance to anyone who needs help and guidance at any stage of the process.
President of the Chamber of Architects and Civil Engineers Andre Pizzuto said that the Chamber welcomes the proposed reform. He said that the Chamber of Architects will take a proactive role in this reform, as it will assist its professionals in property valuation to make their assessments uniform and fair.
“As part of its contribution, the Chamber will also revise its Valuation Standards to reflect any changes in rental law. This will ensure that the assessment reports are drawn up in accordance with the new law, thus facilitating the implementation of the reform,” Mr Pizzuto concluded.
Minister Roderick Galdes concluded by thanking the Chamber of Architects and Civil Engineers for welcoming this reform, and stated that in the coming days he will be meeting with more stakeholders to make this reform a success.