It has recently been stated that there are around 40,000 vacant properties in Malta, it is safe to say that many of these vacant properties are subject to vandalism. Moreover, a good number of the mentioned vacant properties are indeed vacant due to heirs not being able to come to an agreement as to whether to sell said inherited property or not – therefore resulting in an increase of vacant properties.
According to the Maltese Civil Code, where individuals are in co-ownership with respect to an inherited property for longer than ten years, and said co-owners fail to come to an agreement with regards to the sale of the respective property, an application may be made to the court whereby, if the court is satisfied that none of the co-owners will be prejudiced if the property is to be sold, the court will go on to authorise the sale in accordance with the wish of the majority of the co-owners.
In this regard, Parliament has recently approved through its second reading an amendment to the Civil Code, whereby the proposed change will allow co-owners to sell their inherited property within three years from the inheritance, as opposed to the current ten year time-frame.
Therefore, in the situation where 51 per cent of the heirs are in agreement to sell the property, this may be done after three years from the inheritance of said property.
The Government’s intention is to decrease the numerous vacant properties due to heirs failing to come to an agreement to sell the respective property(ies).