The Maltese rental market has never looked so good. With soaring numbers of foreigners and expatriates finding work on the island, rental properties are increasingly in demand, and the Sliema/St.Julian’s area has never looked hotter. What with exciting night life, international and local business establishments, shopping centres and great dining options, this is a formidable location to call home.
Across the harbour from Marsamxett and Valletta, Sliema and St. Julians have long dominated the Maltese Islands as a tourist centre. Evolving from the quaint British seaside summer house town into the booming cosmopolitan area that it is today, the Sliema and St. Julians area offers a tantalising rental opportunity. Searching for a rental opportunity in this area, however, is highly competitive.
Checking local real estate rental websites should be your first step, to familiarise yourself with what’s on offer, the prices, and different locations within the two towns. This not only helps you to know what’s on the market, but also to know what you require in a rental home. Knowing what you’re looking for helps you establish a budget, something essential in rental living. And knowing your budget pretty much determines what you’re looking for. Remember to add utility bills (€50 – €100 per month’, deposit (50% of rent) and real estate agent fees (50% of monthly rent) to the monthly rent.
While searching it is important to manage the viewing appointments well—take time out for multiple viewings as these might make for convenient time management in what might probably be a tight schedule to get you settled. However, it might be a little contradictory, because you need to be able to make a snap decision due to competition, as Maltese rental properties, especially in Sliema and St. Julian’s get snatched up fast. Real fast.
You might want to try and see your favourite properties at least at two different times of day—morning and night. If you have the time and are really into researching the best decision, find out the whereabouts and visit the locations beforehand, especially, at night, since this is a busy time with foot and road traffic fluctuating considerably.
Apart from Maltese buildings being very close to each other, night life is very much alive and kicking here, so noise pollution can be common in certain neighbourhoods of Sliema and St.Julians area. Which leads us to the next point.
For the viewing appointments make sure to be prepared with questions to ask—does the property have double glazed windows? Does it have utilities like washing machine, microwave, or air-conditioning. Is it close to amenities? Does it come with a parking space? Are there any potential issues I should be aware of? and so on.
Rental dynamics are all a little different from landlord to landlord, so asking questions beforehand helps make things clear, and eliminates a lot of possible eventual collisions with the landlord. If you rental agent is experienced that he should know the landlord and can also assist you with pertinent information. Also, make sure to ask the agency whether they can coordinate the Internet and Cable/Satellite TV installation for you, as this maybe an added value service that they may offer. You might also want to consider choosing a property where the landlord has a maid—this is common in apartment blocks, and might be worth the money since it will allow you weekly reassurance of a clean home.
Depending on your lifestyle you need to make the right choice to avoid disappointment and having to move again. If you are thinking of letting an apartment in St. Julian’s ensure to know that if you aren’t planning to frequent the restaurants and bars by foot that Paceville and its surrounding areas can be noisy, especially in the early hours of the morning. This includes the beginning of Swieqi, and the roads that lead up to the Gardens area. Gated or isolated developments like Pender Gardens and Portomaso are fine.
If you are thinking of renting a property in Sliema and you find the coffee and shopping culture enticing you may want to live around the Ferries area, where you will have a variety of choice for eating out and shopping at high street stores.
Ultimately, before you contact an estate agent with your mission to rent a home in Malta, go for long walks around these towns to identify the parts which look most endearing to you, where you could feel comfortable living and relaxing. Although not extremely large towns, both Sliema and St Julian’s have curious corners and locations which provide insight in a lifestyle waiting to be lived and experienced.