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Abuse of public/Government property

All data collected by the Authority is processed in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679, the Data Protection Act (Cap. 586 of the Laws of Malta) and other applicable laws.

The identity will not be divulged without the consent of the data subject and will be processed internally specifically for the purpose of the investigation carried out by the Authority in connection with your report.

The Lands Authority has a Data Protection Officer (“DPO”) who is responsible for matters relating to privacy and data protection. Should you wish to inquire further on privacy matters, the DPO can be reached at the above address or by email: [email protected]

The Lands Authority is working on an electronic mapping system for the general public to learn more about the location of land owned by the Government. Since such a system is not yet available, you may click on https://landsauthority.org.mt/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/LandsAuthority-FORM-GLA20.pdf and fill in all the required details. You may submit the application online or download it together with the required documentation, which includes a site plan certified by an architect indicating the exact property location inquired upon.

Your application will be processed in due time.

Alternatively, you may like to send an email to [email protected]

Yes, a lane may be privately owned when it is developed on land not owned by the Government of Malta. Therefore, the land remains private property and for private use.

The conditions governing leases of Government property are generally those shown in the specimen contracts published on our website. However some contracts may have specific conditions applicable to particular properties.

Copies of Contracts may be purchased from the Lands Authority. Any personal data about the tenant will be blotted out in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679, the Data Protection Act (Cap. 586 of the Laws of Malta) and other applicable laws.

Public contracts, such as contracts of sale and emphyteutical concessions, may be purchased from the Notary to Government or from the Lands Authority

The Lands Authority is committed to investigate all reports that are submitted. But it may be the case that:

(i) the details submitted when the case was reported may not have been detailed enough to enable identification of the property; and/or
(ii) property is not Government-owned (i.e. it is privately-owned); and/or
(iii) the reported abuse was not an abuse at all but was covered with the necessary permissions; and/or
(iv) defaulter may have been given some time to regularise him/herself; and/or
(v) case may be somewhat complex meaning that any action by the Department will take longer than usual.

We therefore urge you to allow us sufficient time to investigate a case and take necessary action, when and if applicable.

Should you require any information on action being taken by the Lands Authority, then you may phone the Lands Authority Customer Care 22953904 so that, after due verification, we could provide you with the necessary information.

In the event that you are not satisfied regarding a case you had reported, you may write to CEO, Lands Authority, Auberge de Bavière, Valletta VLT 2000.

The Lands Authority acts upon every abuse reported and the property in question would be inspected by the enforcement officers.

This does not mean however that all cases of abuse should be treated in the same manner, simply because not all cases are the same.

As soon as the Authority is in a position to take a decision, it shall act in accordance with the law and shall take all the necessary measures to safeguard the public interest and the proper administration of Government land.

Agricultural Land Scheme

The Agricultural Land Scheme is a scheme that allowed cultivators of Government-owned agricultural land (including ex-Church property) to apply for a new lease under the benefits offered by the scheme.

Applications under the scheme were received up to the end of February 2002.

No, no further applications under the Agricultural Land Scheme can be made after the closing date for applications.  You can still submit an application for the lease of the field but any lease will be made under current policy terms and you will not benefit from the advantages of the scheme.  Currently all applications for agricultural land not made under the Agricultural Land Scheme are being held in abeyance.

In view of the very large number of applications that were received under the scheme, the laborious and technical nature of the work and also the limited human resources, the processing of applications made under the Agricultural Land Scheme is not progressing as fast as Lands Authority would like it to.  Nevertheless this should not cause you any concern since the land you applied for will not be granted to third parties before your application is considered.

As soon as your application is processed you will be informed by mail whether your application is to be rejected, whether it is being accepted or whether some other action is required from your end (such as applying for a building permit for structures larger than 30 square meters).  If your application is accepted you will be called upon to sign the lease agreement.

Yes, there are a number of reasons why your application can be rejected.  Amongst other matters, these might include such factors as the land being the subject of a Government project, the land falling within a development zone; the land being used for non-agricultural purposes; the land being already leased to third parties who have not renounced to their lease etc.  You will be informed if there are any such problems regarding your application.  What you can do if your application is rejected depends on whether you previously already held a lease on the land in question.  If such is the case then you will continue to enjoy your previous lease.  If on the other hand you had no such lease there is nothing you can do.

Your application cannot be processed until you and the other third party agree as to who is cultivating what land.  An agreement signed in front of a lawyer or notary is required before your application can be processed further.

Your application cannot be processed before you obtain such letter of renouncement.

No.  You already hold a valid legal title to the land and this cannot be terminated unless you break the conditions of the lease.  You will therefore continue to hold the land under the same conditions as before.

No, you cannot transfer the land you applied for to your children before your application is processed by the Lands Authority.  Should your application be accepted however you may then transfer the lease to your children.  In the unfortunate event that you pass away before your application is processed then your inheritors will be entitled to any rights you had as a result of the application.

Provided that your father qualified to be granted a lease under the Agricultural Land Scheme, then the Lands Authority will transfer the application to those members of the family that would have been legally entitled [in terms of the Agricultural Leases (Reletting) Act] to the lease had your father in fact enjoyed such lease.

Property Ownership Queries

An ad hoc Resolution of the House of Representatives in relation to the  disposal of government immovable property is one in which Parliament itself approves the allocation of property to a particular entity.

This procedure is adopted in specific circumstances where government feels that such allocation is important to Maltese Society in more ways, other than a monetary return.  This procedure would normally be resorted to when submitting the allocation to the tender process would have a distorting effect on the intended outcome  of the allocation and where a direct allocation is not allowed under the special policy approved by Parliament every three years.

This particular procedure also means that the allocation, including all the conditions of transfer, is subjected to the scrutiny of and debate by members of the House.

A resolution of the House is valid for a period of one year from the date on which it is passed and the Commissioner of Land must therefore finalise the relative transfer agreement within this period of one year, failing which a fresh resolution would be required if government wishes to proceed with the transfer.

Typical recent Resolutions of the House of Representatives regarding the allocation of government property have included the Manoel Island Project, the Cottonera Project, the Cruise Terminal Project, the transfer of a number of sport complexes to sport associations and the transfer of property to charitable or other non-governmental socially-oriented institutions.

The Property Terrier is part of Estate Management Department within Lands Authority, and is a multi-dataset register of the government-owned land and premises.

The current procedure is that the relevant information is provided through application GLA20 which may be found through the link https://landsauthority.org.mt/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Lands-Authority-FORM-GLA20.pdf  in order to establish whether site is Government owned or not.

For further information you may like to contact the Customer Care Department on 22953904 or email [email protected]

The Malta Land Registry has details of the owners of registered land, however they do not provide details of ownership online. You may be able to obtain further information from them by contacting:

The Land Registry Department,
Head Office
116, Casa Bolino,
West Street,
Valletta, Malta  CMR 02
Tel. 21239777
Fax. 21226374

The Land Registry Department,
Gozo Branch,
Administrative Centre,
St. Francis Street,
Victoria, Gozo
Tel. 21555017
Fax. 21555131

If the land is not registered at the Land Registry, then it is a matter of pure trial and error using such methods as establishing ownership via the cultivators (who may be determined by visiting the cultivators records held by the Governments Ghammieri Experimental Farm within the Ministry for Sustainable Development, the Environment and Climate Change) or via the neighbours who may be of assistance.

The Management of Government Immovable Property

Yes, the Government of Malta is by far the largest land-owner in the country.  It owns a wide variety of property ranging from vacant land, to rural land, office buildings, commercial premises, stores, garages, residential premises, fortresses, towers, war-time pillboxes, roads etc.  Government ownership of immovable property knows a variety of sources, including:

(i)   Ex-Church immovable property comprises all property that was transferred to the State by virtue of the Church/State Agreement of 1991, and may include any type of property but mainly houses, flats, garages, stores and rural land.  This property is administered by the Joint Office.  For further details go to FAQs – Ex-Church Property Transferred to the State.

(ii)  Ex-Services Property this is property that was transferred to the state by the British Military Services by virtue of the United Kingdom Lands (Vesting) Act.

(iii) Expropriated Property being property intended for public projects that was forcefully acquired by Government under the Land Acquisition (Public Purpose) Ordinance.

(iv)  Ex-Knights Property being property that has been vested in Government as successor to the Knights of Malta.

(v)   Purchased Property being property acquired from third parties by Government under amicable settlement arrangements.

(vi)  Other Property including property bequeathed to the state or otherwise belonging to the state by virtue of its vacant ownership status (in terms of the Civil Code land that has no ownership is deemed to be Government-owned).

Responsibility for the management of Government immovable property rests primarily with the Lands Authority.  However there are other government bodies/agencies that are directly involved in the management of specific types of property as follows:

(i) Industrial property  – this consists of property that is identified by Government for industrial/manufacturing use and generally comprises factories within industrial estates.  Such properties are managed and disposed of by the Malta Development Corporation  (MDC) under the auspices of the Malta Development Corporation Act and the Business Promotion Act.  The MDC is vested with such powers via Clause 2 of the Commissioner of Land Ordinance.

(ii) Residential property mainly comprises flats, maisonettes and terraced houses.  Present Government policy vests responsibility for the construction and allocation of residential premises with the Housing Authority.  Government land is therefore used for the building of such units that are then allocated and managed by the Housing Authority.  The Housing Authority may also sell such properties under any of its Home Ownership Schemes and for this purpose the Lands Authority transfers ownership to the Housing Authority.  Old housing stock is on the other hand allocated by the Department of Social Housing that draws up the necessary lease agreements with tenants.  Any rent payable is then collected by the Lands Authority (Land Directorate) that also assumes responsibility for the enforcement of lease conditions.  Repairs to residential premises are then the responsibility of the Department of Housing Construction & Maintenance Department.

(iii) Non-residential property comprises all kinds of other government immovable property that does not fall under the other two headings, including garages, shops, boathouses, rural land, vacant land, fortresses, etc.  This kind of property falls under the management of the Lands Authority except that this may still involve consultation with other departments/authorities.  Please see also the Lands Authority Policy for Disposal of Non-Residential Property.

(iv) Heritage property this is property that may be designated as cultural heritage in terms of the Cultural Heritage Act.  Under this act the Superintendent of Cultural Heritage may enter into a into a guardianship contract with a local council or with a non-government organization whereby they are given custody of such property.   This must be carried out within the terms of the Disposal of Government Land Act and therefore involves directly the Lands Authority (Land Directorate) in the process.

Yes there are various laws that regulate Governments behaviour in relation to the management of its immovable estate particularly in relation to the disposal of same.  The primary law in this regard is the Disposal of Government Land Act.  But there are a number of other laws that have a direct impact and consequence on the management of such property.

The Disposal of Government Land Act stipulates the methods through which government property may be disposed (sold, leased, granted on emphyteusis or otherwise) and also provides for the imposition of a fine not exceeding Lm1000 and/or imprisonment of not more than 6 months in the case of contravention of these provisions.  Under this act the principal ways through which government immovable property may be disposed are:

(i) Indirectly through a competitive call for tenders; or
(ii) Directly through an ad hoc resolution of the House of Representatives; or
(iii) Directly in accordance with an apposite special policy approved by a resolution of the House of Representatives; or
(iv) Directly to a body corporate established by law for the purposes of any function of such body (such as Enemalta, Employment Training Corporation, Malta Transport Authority, Malta Environment and Malta Environment and Planning Authority etc.); or
(v) In accordance with any other law for the time being in force.

This is a policy that further regulates the disposal of government land and makes provision for those cases where Government may dispose of property in a direct way, including sale, granting on emphyteusis and the granting of encroachment rights.  This special policy, which is carried in Parliament under the auspices of Article 3(1)(b) of the Disposal of Government Land Act, is valid for a period of three years from the date on which it is passed and therefore requires to be regularly renewed by Parliament.

Sales and Leases

Yes, Government does sell and lease property and in such context the whole process is managed by the Lands Authority.  The disposal (whether sale, lease or the granting of other rights) of government-owned immovable property is regulated by the Disposal of Government Land Act that in general terms lays down that government immovable property may be  disposed off, that is:

(i) either via an ad hoc Resolution of the House of Representatives; or
(ii) via a public Invitation To Tender (ITT); or
(iii) in terms of a Policy Resolution approved by the House of Representatives every three years; or
(iv) in accordance with any other law.

A list of the properties that are being offered for lease or sale by the Lands Authority, may be viewed at the website of the Department of Information.

You may also contact the contact the Customer Care Section of the Lands Authority on Telephone Number 22 953 238 / 239 or otherwise view the list on the notice board situated at the entrance hall of the Auberge de Baviere, Valletta.

The public sales and leases are also advertised in the Government Gazette and national newspapers.

Government immovable property that is offered for lease or sale is located just about anywhere in Malta. Lands Authority sales and leases include any type of immovable property (other than residential units which are the realm of the Housing Authority) in both rural and urban areas including villa sites, residual plots, vacant land, garages, shops, office buildings and also airspace. Lands Authority specializes in sale of land parcels and vacant sites and in the lease of shops, garages and stores.  An Invitation to Tender (ITT) is prepared for each property that is sold or leased in a public ITT. The ITT contains information on what the property is, including a property plan as well as a location plan to find where the property is.  Should you require to view a property that is closed (i.e. a building as opposed to a site) an appointment for viewing the property may be arranged by phoning the Tenders Officer on telephone Number 22953122.

Schemes for the sale to the tenants of government-owned residential premises are managed by the Housing Authority which offers a number of incentives to encourage people to become home-owners.

Tenders

A tender is and invitation to the public to submit an offer for the acquisition of Government property.

Tender Offers need to be made on the official Tender Forms prepared by the Land Authority.  Interested parties may obtain tender documents from the Tenders Office of the Lands Authority, subject to payment of applicable fees. The only accepted tender proposals are those submitted on the official Tender Forms.

Tenders need to be submitted on the official Tender Forms prepared by the Lands Authority.  The tender form together with the bid bond and a copy of the receipt needs to be placed in the provided envelope and put in the tender box at the Lands Authority Reception Area before the closing date and time.

Yes a minimum bid amount is always stated on the tender document.

A bid bond is required in most cases. This is based on a percentage according to the freehold value with the exception when there is a goodwill agreement.

Tenders are opened in the presence of the public by a Tenders Committee of two officers being the Tenders Officer representing the Tenders Office and one officer representing the Estate Management Directorate.

Once the public opening session of the tenders is concluded, a schedule of the offers is put up on a public notice board for viewing at the Lands Authority.

Not necessarily. This decision is taken by the Adjudicating Board, taking into consideration instances governed by the Lands Authority Act Cap. 573, such as when the right of first refusal is granted to a bidder with a lower bid.

Tenders are normally adjudicated on the basis of the highest offer received except that (i) the Lands Authority may grant a right of first refusal to any bidder who has a right for it, (ii) the Lands Authority reserves the right to refuse any bids.

Offers for Lands Authority tenders are accepted for a definite period as stipulated in the Tender – normally three weeks – usually commencing on a Friday and closing on a Thursday.  After it closes, recommendations need to be submitted to the Adjudicating Board.

A right of first refusal is awarded according to the Lands Authority Act Chapter 573.

Yes, any type of property transfer by Lands Authority (whether by sale, emphyteusis or lease) requires a formal contractual agreement.

Once the tender is adjudicated, Lands Authority issues a Letter of Acceptance to the successful bidder informing him/her of the tender outcome and inviting him/her to enter into a public deed of sale or lease agreement, as the case may be, on an appointed date.

In the case of transfer of ownership (by way of sale or emphyteusis) Maltese law requires that a public deed be drawn up before a Notary Public.  In the case of Government property such deed shall be drawn up in front of the Lands Authority  Notary.  If it is a matter of a simple lease then a written agreement is drawn up between the lessee and the Lands Authority.

Temporary Use of Government property - Tables & Chairs, Filming etc.

Yes a Lands Authority permit is required for the use of government property for such likely purposes as holding fairs, tombolas, camping, luna parks, mobile kiosks, fixing of bill-boards, film shooting, beach activities, street activities and any other use that may be requested.

Yes, you still need a Lands Authority permit. Permits issued by MEPA cover questions of development planning and not of property ownership. The permit from Lands Authority is required as owner of the property on behalf of Government.

You need to submit a written application to the Lands Authoritys Estate Management Directorate, Auberge de Baviere, Valletta.

Your application should indicate the period being requested, the use being proposed and the property/site you are interested in. A site plan of a scale of 1:1000 (obtainable from the Malta Environment & Planning Authority) should also be provided.

If the activity being proposed exceeds 28 days in duration a MEPA Permit is usually required and Lands Authority will not consider your request before a copy of this permit is provided. If the duration is for less than 28 days, Lands Authority will evaluate your request in terms of estate management principles including matters relating to existing commitments over the property. In the majority of cases a permit is in fact granted by the Lands Authority.

Permits are issued at a fee that is payable in advance.

You are also advised to consult the Development Notification Order 2001 issued by MEPA to determine whether a Planning Permission is required for the activity you are proposing.

The use of government-owned public spaces (including pavements) is also regulated by the Disposal of Government Land Act and therefore requires a permit from the Lands Authority. To make use of the pavement you therefore need to submit an Application for a Tables & Chairs Permit. Obviously this presumes that you are in the possession of a valid operating license from the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA). The relative application form (which is downloadable from this website at Application for a Tables & Chairs Permit), must be forwarded to the MTA at the Auberge d’Italie, Merchants Street, Valletta CMR 02, duly filled in and accompanied with the relevant documentation and listed requirements. The application form shall be vetted by the MTA who shall then forward it to the Estate Management Directorate (EMD) within the Lands Authority. The Lands Authority shall, wherever the application is in line with the Development Notification Order (DNO) issued by the MEPA in 2001, issue at a fee the relative permit to occupy the site. The permit will be subjected to a number of Standard Conditions for Tables & Chairs Permits plus any ad hoc conditions that may be required. The permit issued by the Lands Authority does not exonerate the grantee from obtaining other permits required at law. A copy of the permit issued by the Lands Authority shall be forwarded to MTA and MEPA. Should any of these require the permit to be withdrawn the Lands Authority shall withdraw the permit.

The DNO 2001 is a legal notice issued by MEPA in 2001 and is intended to remove the requirement for a Development Application in a number of development initiatives including the placing of tables and chairs in public spaces. The DNO 2001 permits the placing of tables and chairs, with umbrellas, in public open spaces provided that (a) MEPA is notified; (b) MEPA does not, within 30 days of such notification, inform applicant that a Development Permission is required; and (c) provided further that:

(i) where situated in a pedestrian area (i.e. a pedestrianised, piazza or other area to which vehicles do not access), a passage for pedestrians of at least 1.5m in width is left clear and unobstructed between any group of tables and chairs belonging to one establishment and (a) any other such group belonging to any other establishment; (b) any physical obstruction or building;
(ii) where situated on a pavement, a passage for pedestrians of at least 1.5m in width is left clear and unobstructed between any group of tables and chairs belonging to different establishments; and between the tables and chairs and the facade of any building or physical obstruction, or between the tables and chairs and the edge of the pavement;
(iii) the tables and chairs would not impair visibility at a road junction or otherwise pose a threat to the safety of pedestrians or vehicular traffic;
(iv) the tables and chairs are not placed on a highway used by vehicular traffic;
(v) the tables and chairs are not separated from the premises which they serve by a highway used by vehicular traffic;
(vi) the tables and chairs do not obstruct access to any adjoining property;
(vii) any physical means of enclosing a group of tables and chairs shall be appropriately designed and maintained, and shall comply with the above subparagraphs; and
(viii) any umbrellas shall be sited within the group of tables and chairs and comply with the above subparagraphs.

You are advised to consult the actual text of the DNO 2001 for precise interpretation.

No, permits for tables and chairs are granted on encroachment terms and are not therefore transferable.  The Lands Authority may however grant a new permit under currently applicable conditions to the new operator, provided a fresh application is submitted.

When granting permits for film shooting on government property the Lands Authority works in close collaboration with the Malta Film Commission and the Parliamentary Secretariat in the Ministry for Economic Services responsible for the Film Industry. If you are interested in film shooting in Malta, you are advised to contact the Malta Film Commission at the Ministry for Economic Services, Auberge d’Aragon, Independence Square, Valletta CMR 02, who shall then liaison with the Lands Authority and advice you further.

You should first seek MEPA’s approval for the mobile kiosk. If this is granted then Lands Authority will evaluate your request and may grant you a permit.

Yes, provided you have held a Lands Authority Land Directorate permit for the mobile kiosk at least as from 1992 and provided further that you have obtained a MEPA permit for the development of a fixed kiosk on the site in question. In such case you may be granted, at Lands Authority discretion, a temporary emphyteusis of 25 years at a ground rent as assessed by Lands Authority. No tenders will be required.

Expiry, Extension and Transfer (Recognitions) of Leases/Emphyteusis

The question of what you can or cannot do can be answered by reading the conditions of the contract. Typically however government leases do not permit the transfer of leases. Nevertheless there may be instances where the Lands Authority may allow the transfer of a lease subject to certain conditions. For further details please read this section of the FAQs as well as the provisions of the Policy for the Disposal of Non-Residential Property.

The question of land held on agricultural lease is governed by the Agricultural Leases (Reletting) Act. The Lands Authority will not agree to transfer the lease other than as stipulated in the said Act. Generally this means that an agricultural lease may be transferred to lineal descendants or ascendants of the tenant. Thus a person cannot, for instance transfer an agricultural lease to his brother or cousin, but may transfer it to his children or parents. For exact elucidation of your legal rights you are advised to seek the assistance of a lawyer.

You will need to submit a written request to the Lands Authority in which you renounce to that part of the land being transferred in favour of your children and also provide a plan indicating clearly the land leased to you and the area being transferred.  In your letter you will need to list the names, addresses and Identity Card Numbers of those children you are transferring the land to.  The letter of renouncement and the plan will need to be signed not only by yourself and your spouse (if you are married), but also by the transferees (your children) as proof of their acceptance of the lease.  For further assistance see specimen letter at Application for the Transfer of An Agricultural Lease. You will also need to provide the Lands Authority with an electronic version of the plan (in Autocad 2000).  In this regard you are advised to seek the services of an architect.

Yes, tenants of shops who wish to pass over their tenancy to a third party, are permitted to enter into a lease transfer agreement with same third party during the term of the lease. This is known as the Transfer by Goodwill Procedure. To so you will however need to submit an Application for the Transfer of Commercial Property (Goodwill Procedure) to the Lands Authority. Tenders are however required. For Further details see Clause 7 of the Policy for the Disposal of Non-Residential Property.

Tenants who attain the age of 61 years may transfer their tenancy to any of their children or grand-children, without the need for tenders, but the yearly rent will be increased by 10% for every period of 10 years or part thereof, that would have passed since the original rent was established.  To do so you will need to submit an Application for the Transfer of Commercial Property (Retirement Procedure).

Tenants of garages, boathouses and stores cannot transfer the lease to third parties (not even to their children). However persons who are considered by law to be the legatee or heirs of the tenant of a boathouse or garage, who are legally entitled to be recognized as such, shall be recognized as tenants but the rent shall be increased by 10% for every period of 10 years or part thereof, that would have passed since the original rent was established. In the case of stores and shops the deceased tenant’s heirs shall be recognized in the tenancy without an increase in rent.

You will need to submit an Application for Lease Recognition (Inheritance Procedure) to the Lands Authority. You will also have to provide -:

(i) A copy of the deceased tenant’s will/s;
(ii) A certificate from the Civil Court (First Hall), Malta and Gozo, stating that the deceased tenant had no secret wills;
(iii) A declaration on oath listing the names, addresses and Identity Card Numbers of the deceased tenant’s children;
(iv) Photocopy of the Identity Card of the deceased tenant and those of his children;
(v) Photocopy of the last rent receipt;
Where any children entitled for recognition are not interested in such recognition, a letter from such children stating that they renounce to their right in favour of the indicated brothers/sisters.

The transfer/recognition of residential leases is governed by the Department of Social Housing. In this regard you will have to submit your application for recognition to the said department. The Department of Social Housing shall, for the purpose of rent payments, inform the Lands Authority when the eventual recognition is issued.

Where premises are occupied by the recognized emphyteuta, the premises will be disposed of through a call for tenders with the same emphyteuta being granted the right of first refusal. The ex-emphyteuta may request payment for any furniture to be left in the property, but a percentage of such payment shall be payable to Government. Where property has been leased to third parties by the emphyteuta then property will be leased to such third parties (as long as these are not lineal descendants or ascendants, or spouses thereof, of the emphyteuta, and as long as the lease originated at least 10 years prior to the expiry of the emphyteusis – see also Question 26). For further details see Clauses 15.1 and 18.1 of the Policy for the Disposal of Non-Residential Premises.

As the sitting tenant, you may (at Lands Authority discretion) be granted a new lease as long as you are not the lineal descendant or ascendant of the emphyteuta (or spouse thereof) and as long as the lease originated at least 10 years prior to the expiry of the emphyteusis. This lease will be a direct one, without the need for tenders but at a new rent established by Lands Authority. If, upon expiry of the temporary emphyteusis, you would have held the lease for less than 10 years, or you are otherwise a tenant that is a lineal ascendant or descendant of the emphyteuta (or a spouse thereof) then reletting can only be carried out through tenders, but as sitting tenant, you will be granted the right of first refusal. For further details see Clauses 18.1 and 18.2 of the Policy for the Disposal of Non-Residential Premises.

No, you are not automatically entitled to have the lease renewed, since Government enjoys special powers not to renew the lease. Nevertheless, provided the lease you hold is for a period exceeding one year, then upon expiry, you may (at Lands Authority discretion) be granted a new lease under identical conditions except for the rent which will be fixed by Lands Authority at the time of reletting. There will be no need for a new call for tenders.Lands Authority may however renew the lease if it deems it expedient.

Yes, the Lands Authority offers a scheme whereby lease holders/emphyteuta who wish to invest in the government property they hold on lease, may be granted an extension to the term of their current lease. For further details please see Clause 8.1 and Clause 14 of the Policy for the Disposal of Non-Residential Premises.

Repairs and Structural Alterations

All lease agreements for non-residential property carry with them the obligation of the tenant to keep the premises in a good state of repair and maintenance. The Lands Authority assumes responsibility only for repairs that are of an extraordinary/structural nature. Any complaint about repairs should be addressed to the Estate Management Directorate within Lands Authority. If repairs are approved the matter will be referred to the Department of Construction & Maintenance within the Ministry for Resources & Infrastructure for carrying out. If not approved tenant will be requested to carry out the repairs himself.

Yes, property held on lease cannot be altered in any way except with the written consent of the Lands Authority, both in case of residential premises as well in the case of non-residential property. For this purpose you will need to write to Lands Authority Estate Management Directorate showing exactly on a plan what alterations you require to make. Plans need to be drawn up by an architect and a copy of MEPA’s development permit (where such permit is required by MEPA) must also be submitted. Lands Authority will not however be able to grant you such permit if the alterations you require extend beyond the property leased to you.

No Lands Authority will not grant you such permission. This is because the airspace over the garage is not normally included in your lease. The granting of the airspace under any form of title is a disposal and will therefore have to be made in accordance with the Disposal of Government Land Act, which would normally mean that tenders would have to be issued.

Compulsory Acquisition of Private Property

Yes, in terms of the Land Acquisition (Public Purposes) Ordinance, Government is empowered to forcefully take over (expropriate) any private property that it may require for a public purpose. Thus if Government requires to open a new road or construct a new housing estate, it may take over private property for the said purpose.

The Land Acquisition (Public Purposes) Ordinance requires that a President’s Declaration be issued declaring the property to be required for a public purpose. This President’s Declaration is issued following the advice of the Commissioner of Land (Land Direcotrate) and is published in the Government Gazette, in at least two local newspapers (one of which must be a newspaper published in English and the other a newspaper published in Maltese) and on the notice board of the Police station or, as the case may be, of each Police station of the town or village where or within the limits of which the land is situated. Where the owners of a property are known the Declaration would indicate the names of the owners. The President’s Declaration will also refer to a plan that indicates the property. This plan would be viewable on request at the Lands Authority (Land Directorate). If you have doubts as to whether any property you own was ever declared as required for a public purpose then you may call, by prior appointment, at the Lands Authority to check matters. To fix such an appointment please call Customer Care on Telephone Number 22 953 238 / 239
or e-mail at [email protected].

The Land Directorate within Lands Authority has overall responsibility for legislation and procedures governing compulsory acquisition and the compensation due.  It must however be pointed out that the Land Directorates role is to facilitate projects initiated by other government departments/bodies in regard of which private property may be required to be expropriated.  Land acquisition on behalf of such departments is only issued on the endorsement of the Minister responsible for such department.

You must hand over the property to Government within 14 days from the date of issue of the President’s Declaration, or in the case of residential property, within 14 days from being provided with alternative accommodation.

Government is empowered to take over your property as soon as the 14 day limit expires, and may therefore forcefully evict you if the project schedule so requires.

If the property in question is your place of residence, then Government shall provide you with adequate alternative accommodation. In the case of non-residential property (e.g. garage, store, shop etc.) Lands Authority is not obliged to provide you with alternative premises. Lands Authority will nevertheless try to provide you with an alternative of more or less the same area provided such alternative premises are available and provided the property is used for the same purpose you previously enjoyed. For further details please see Clause 13 of the Policy for the Disposal of Non-Residential Premises. You are also reminded that, in the case of privately owned property and in terms of the Land Acquisition (Public Purposes) Ordinance you may be entitled to compensation for the expropriation of your property rights.

Government may, at its discretion, expropriate property either under absolute purchase terms or under possession and use terms or under public tenure. Under each case the compensation offered by Government is respectively the purchase value, a yearly acquisition rent and a yearly recognition rent. The law itself stipulates the way in which each type of compensation shall be calculated.

Under the Land Acquisition (Public Purposes) Ordinance, Government must pay you fair compensation as stipulated in the Ordinance. The law itself stipulates how this compensation is to be calculated. The Lands Authority (Land Directorate) will file a judicial letter (known as the Notice to Treat) against you in front of the Land Arbitration Board, whereby it informs you about the amount of compensation Government is willing to offer you for your property. You are also entitled to damages at the rate of 5% from the date of entry into your property.

No, you are not obliged to accept the compensation offered. However if you plan to contest the amount offered then you must do so by filing a judicial letter against the Commissioner of Land (Lands Authority) within 21 days from the date of receipt of the Notice to Treat. Failure to do so means that you have accepted the compensation offered.

It is the Land Arbitration Board that decides on the fair compensation payable except that where the amount has not been contested the Board shall declare that the compensation due is that stated in the Notice to Treat.

The Land Arbitration Board is an integral part of the Courts of Justice and is established under the provisions of the Land Acquisition (Public Purposes) Ordinance to decide on matters relating to the compulsory acquisition of property under the said Ordinance.

A judicial application is required to bring the matter in front of the Board. Where there is no agreement between the parties about the compensation payable, the party from whom land has been expropriated may make an application to the Land Arbitration Board within 21 days following the service of a Judicial letter filed by the Commissioner of Land whereby compensation is offered.

Unfortunately there is no clear-cut answer that can be given to this question. This is because there are so many parameters and circumstances that may have a direct bearing on the Lands Authority ability to process and finalise a property acquisition. These include such factors as the rudimentary nature of property-ownership records in Malta, the unique property titles under Maltese laws, inheritance complications, availability of funds, different layers of property ownership, property market values, lengthy Court proceedings, Lands Authority limited staff resources and the sheer quantity of property expropriations that have had to be carried out as a result of the country’s development and infrastructural projects. In recent years Lands Authority has undertaken various initiatives to facilitate the acquisition process including budgetary measures to ensure that new acquisition projects are adequately funded prior to initiation, the farming out of property valuations and of research work to private architects and lawyers and even amendments to the law to enable quicker processing.

Yes you can. Provided Government has no public purpose use for the property and provided that the deed of acquisition has not been signed (i.e. you have not been paid for the property), Lands Authority may release the property back to you. This will require clearance from the Ministry (Minister’s approval required) that had originated the expropriation and the subsequent issue of a President’s declaration of release from acquisition. You will also be required to sign an indemnity form releasing Lands Authority from any claims for damages. In those instances where the deed of acquisition has been finalized the matter is somewhat different in that Government may have allocated the site on lease to third parties. Most often this happens in the case of residual sites. In such case Lands Authority may transfer the property back to you provided you are ready to accept it as is. Lands Authority will then enter into a deed selling the site back to you at the original price it paid for it. You will however have to pay damages at 5% on the principal amount from the date of the acquisition contract to the date of the sell-back contract. This process is possible by way of an amendment to the Disposal of Government Land Act that was sponsored by the Lands Authority.

No, you are only entitled to receive just compensation in terms of the relevant law and the Lands Authority will normally pay you this just compensation in cash. However Lands Authority will consider any suggestions you make for exchanging your compensation rights with other government-owned land, provided the difference in value between the two does not exceed 30 per cent. The decision whether to carry out the exchange is Lands Authority sole prerogative.

Further assistance can be provided by contacting the Customer Care Office of the Lands Authority. Please go the Contact Us page within this web site for further details. You are however reminded that any queries you make will require the provision of certain information from your end including a site plan and possibly Lands Authority file references.

Lease Agreements, Lease Conditions and Property Plans

The interests of Government as landlord are, in principle, very similar to those of a private owner in that Government seeks to have a fair return on the property and wants to ensure that lease conditions are adequate to protect its property interests. The conditions under which government property is granted may vary with the type of grant but would include such typical clauses as rent payable, rent payment period and mode, termination clauses, what is and what is not allowed, consequences of default etc. Lands Authority website provides a number of specimen contract conditions for different types of grants and these may be viewed by visiting the Resources pages.

As tenant, you are entitled to a copy of your lease agreement together with a copy of the plan if it is available. Lands Authority provides you with a copy when the lease agreement is signed.  You may request additional copies at a later stage by calling the Customer Care Section on Telephone Number 21232205.  A fee will be payable for additional copies as follows:

Lease agreements/contracts : €0.58 per page (minimum €4.65)

Plans – Size A0: €23.30(additional fees may be charged depending on plan complexity)
Size A1 €18.63
Size A2 €13.97
Size A3 €9.31
Size A4 €4.65

As tenant you are obliged to abide by all the conditions of lease not just those relating to rent payment. Non-observance of lease conditions is considered as a serious matter by Lands Authority and could therefore lead to the termination or non-renewal of lease and eventual eviction under the special powers vested in the Commissioner of Land via the Land (Compulsory Eviction) Act. You are strongly advised not to breach any conditions of the lease.

Your lease will tell you how much notice you must give if you are moving out at the end (or before the end) of the lease term. Moving out before the end of the lease term will violate the terms of the lease, and you’ll be responsible for any charges outlined in the lease for being in default. Typically these would be the payment of the remainder of the rent through to the end of your lease term, less rent received from a subsequent tenant for the same period.

No, you cannot change any conditions of the lease unless the contractual conditions themselves provide for such alteration. In terms of the Disposal of Government Land Act altering a condition of lease is tantamount to a new disposal and therefore falls to be considered under the disposal procedures contemplated in the law. Normally this would mean re-issuing the property on tender or otherwise seeking the approval of the House of Representatives via a special resolution.

FAQs on Online Application Forms

To submit an Application Form, you must have an e-id account. You may find the specific documentation required for the Application Form which will be submitted, by clicking the “Click here to apply” link of the specific Application Form.

This will redirect you to the Pre-Requisites page for the Application chosen.

You can register for the e-ID credentials via this link https://onlineportal.landsauthority.org.mt/User/eIDLogin

To login using your e-ID, hover the mouse over the “Sign In” icon at the top right and click “Sign In”. The e-ID login screen is prompted. Enter your e-ID credentials and click “Sign In”.

Once logged in, your ID card is visible, indicating that you are logged in.

This usually happens when a user is automatically logged out after a period of inactivity. Hover the mouse over the “Sign In” icon at the top right and click “Sign In”, after the session expires and proceed to log in again.

Only Forms LC1 and Agri1 can be submitted on behalf of someone else. LC1 can be submitted by an appointed representative and AGRI1 can be submitted by a third party filling the application for the applicant. Forms PLA1, PLA2 and GLA12 must be submitted by a Perit.

This happens when more than one file is required to be uploaded in the same file upload field, such as photographs. In order to upload multiple files/documents:
⦁ Click the Upload button.
⦁ Locate the files/documents on your personal computer (pc).
⦁ Hold the CTRL button (on keyboard).
⦁ Select all the required files/documents.

⦁ Click the Upload button.
⦁ Locate the files/documents on your personal computer (pc).
⦁ Hold the CTRL button (on keyboard).
⦁ Select all the required files/documents.

To upload the correct file(s)/document(s), click the “Upload” button of the file upload field for which you need to upload the correct file(s)/document(s) and select the correct file(s)/document(s).

You can save an application prior to the “Documentation” section by clicking the “Save” button.


The application is saved and a message is prompted at the top of the page.

⦁ Hover the mouse over the ID Card.
⦁ Select “Saved Applications” option from the menu.

The list of saved applications prompts. You may also filter the list using the filter dropdown menu at the top of the page should you have more than one saved application.

⦁ Click on the link of the saved application you wish to submit.


⦁ The application takes you through all the steps to allow you to review the filled in information. Click the “Next” button to continue with the application. You may amend any information you deem necessary.
⦁ Upload the requested file(s)/document(s) and continue with submitting your application.
Once the application is submitted, you will be prompted with an acknowledgement including the application number. You will also receive an acknowledgement via email with a copy of the application (files/documents uploaded are not included in the email).

Should this error occur, kindly contact customer care on either the following email address [email protected] or telephone numbers 22953000; 21224016; 21224017 to be guided accordingly. Kindly supply customer care with the following information:
⦁ The application being submitted (such as AGRI1).
⦁ Which browser is being used (such as Google Chrome, Firefox)
⦁ Which device is being used (such as home pc or laptop, mobile device)
⦁ At which step was the error prompted (such as Documentation step, Submission step).

Certain applications may require payment upfront during the submission process. Currently this is only applicable to GLA25 application (Garage Scheme)
⦁ Once at the payment step, enter all the payment details and read the terms and conditions.
⦁ Click “Continue” to affect the payment.

Once the payment is affected, you will be prompted with an acknowledgement including the application number. You will also receive an acknowledgement via email with a copy of the application (files/documents uploaded are not included in the email) as well as a payment receipt via email.

⦁ Hover the mouse over the ID Card.
⦁ Select “Submitted Applications” option from the menu.

The list of submitted applications prompts. By default, applications awaiting your feedback are automatically prompted. You may also filter the list using the filter menu at the top of the page should you have more than one submitted application.

You may filter by Application Number or by the Status of applications and the list of applications loads accordingly.

You will be notified via email should any of the uploaded documentation needs rectification. It is important to note that you have 30 calendar days to submit the requested information. The application will be closed, should no feedback is submitted from your end, in which case you will receive an email notification that the application has been closed.

  1. Login with your e-ID.
  2. Click “Submitted Application” from the menu.
  3. Locate the application and click on the link to open the “Amend Application” screen.
  4. Review the remarks and comments as indicated above.
  5. You may also download the file which is flagged as incorrect by clicking the “Download” button next to the file.
  6. Re-upload the correct file(s)/document(s) by clicking the “Upload” button for the incorrect document.
  7. Click the Submit button to submit the correct file(s)/document(s).

You may also be requested to submit additional documents (other than those submitted in the application. You may upload these file(s) using the “Additional Information Requested by LA” file upload field at the bottom.

  1. Click the “Upload” button to upload the file(s)/document(s) requested.
  2. Click the Submit button to submit the file(s)/document(s).

No, the acknowledgement does not mean that the application is being processed. Once the application is being processed, you will receive another email informing you that your application has been vetted and is now validated for processing.

You will be notified via email should LA needs further information other than that submitted in the application.

  1. Login with your e-ID.
  2. Click “Submitted Application” from the menu.
  3. Locate the application and click on the link to open the “Amend Application” screen.

You may upload these file(s) using the “Additional Information Requested by LA” file upload field at the bottom.

  1. Click the “Upload” button to upload the file(s)/document(s) requested.
  2. Click the Submit button to submit the file(s)/document(s).

No, all applications and documentation must be submitted via the LA portal. It is very important to note that emails you receive are automated messages, therefore you cannot reply or send any messages to the said email address.

Kindly contact customer care on the following email address [email protected]. please include you details together with your warrant number in the email.

Delegates are person/s authorised to fill in an application on behalf of someone else.

  1. Login using your e-ID credentials (once logged in, your ID card is visible, indicating that you are logged in).
  2. Click on the ID Card No and the menu opens.
  3. Select “Manage Delegates” option from the menu.
    The list of active delegates is populated.
  4. Click the “Add Delegate” button to add a new delegate.
  5. Enter the Id Card and Date of Birth of the person you wish to add as your delegate.
  6. Click the “Search” button.
  7. Details of the delegate (Name and Surname) are retrieved if there is a match with details you entered.
  8. Click the “Upload” button to browse for the Delegate consent form duly filled in and upload it.
  9. Click the “Add Delegate” button to create the Delegate.
  10. Confirm the dialog box by clicking “Yes”.

The new added delegate will be included in the list of active delegates once confirmed.

  1. Login using your e-ID credentials (once logged in, your ID card is visible, indicating that you are logged in).
  2. Click on the ID Card No and the menu opens.
  3. Select “Manage Delegates” option from the menu.

    The list of active delegates is populated.
  4. Click the Remove Icon next to the Delegate you wish to remove.
  5. Confirm removal of Delegate by clicking “Yes”.

    Access to the submitted applications by the Delegate on behalf of the Perit is immediately revoked once the removal is confirmed.

Yes, multiple delegates may be added. Please refer to the “How to add a Delegate” section to add delegates.

  1. Login using your e-ID credentials (once logged in, your ID card is visible, indicating that you are logged in).
    • If it is the first time, you will be asked to confirm details and update any missing details. By default, details are automatically populated from e-ID however, you can change the email address and Address. As a Delegate, you are allowed to submit applications which are usually submitted only by a Perit.
    • If as a Delegate you are also a Perit or a delegate of more than one Perit, you will be asked to choose on behalf of which Perit you are submitting the application.

      Perit details are automatically populated.
  2. Click the “Click Here To Apply” link for the application you wish to submit
  3. Perit Details are automatically filled in.
  4. Clicking Next will take you to the following step in the Application Process.
  5. Click the “Save” button prior to the “Documentation” step to save your application as draft.
    • As a Delegate you can save applications and retrieve them when selecting the “Saved Applications” option found under the menu prompted when clicking the ID Card.
  6. Upload the necessary documentation in the relevant tab as per below (fields marked with an asterisk [*] are mandatory.
  7. Click “Next” to submit your Application.
  8. Upon successful submission, an Acknowledgement specifying the Application Number is displayed and a copy of the application (Details only no files) is sent via email.

    Any correspondence will be sent by email to both the delegate and the Perit.

Yes, different Periti may add the same person as their delegate.

Periti can view the Applications submitted on their behalf by their Delegates, by selecting the “Submitted Applications” option found under the menu prompted when clicking the ID Card.

No, an application which is still in progress by your Delegate, may not be viewed until the application is submitted by your delegate.