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MaltaToday 30 October 2022

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maltatoday | SUNDAY • 30 OCTOBER 2022 19 LAW CLASSIFIEDS LAW REPORT MALCOLM MIFSUD Mifsud & Mifsud Advocates HOLIDAY ACCOMMODATION MARSALFORN, Gozo - holiday apart- ments for short or long lets with mag- nificent sea-views. Call 21556021, 27556021, 79426883 PROPERTY TO LET XLENDI - catering premises in prime site to let. Can be used for other com- mercial purposes. Phone 79493021, 79426883, 77481592 or 77484029 PROPERTY FOR SALE BALZAN (L/O LIJA) - direct from own- er a beautiful 3-bedroomed apartment in quiet area, large lounge/living room, separate kitchen/dining room, 2 bath- rooms (1 ensuite), 2 balconies, fully fit- ted kitchen, air-conditioned throughout, plenty of natural sunlight, 9 photovol- taic units, solar heater, tip top condi- tion. Freehold. Priced to sell. €330,000. Contact 99891750. SAN GWANN- Open plan 190sqm, ready to move into designer finished second floor apartment in a central quiet street forming part of a block of 5 apart- ments. Two double A/C bedrooms and 1 single A/C bedroom, two bathrooms, lift, double glazing doors and windows. Direct from owner €350k inquire on 79402244. TARXIEN - Larger than usual first floor duplex maisonette. Three bedrooms; double glazed windows; inverter air con- ditioners including solar water heat- er. Being sold furnished. Own airspace with possibility of further development. Contact owner on 99912005/99450639. SERVICES COLLECTIBLE items such panini albums and loose stickers, old postcards and posted envelopes, medals, militar- ia, coins and paper money, books, toys, stamps, badges, paintings, gold & silver items etc. Call on 21310238, 99246632. SITUATIONS VACANT BAKER - Il-Forn L-Antik Ta' Karmni – are seeking the immediate employment on a full-time basis of a Baker. A salary of €11000 per annum is being offered to the suitable candidate. INTERESTED candidates can send CV by email on: takarmnibakery@gmail. com not late than 02/11/2022. CLEANER/HELPER - Torri Gardens Ltd, Lija requires a cleaner/helper on a full-time basis. The ideal candidate must have previous experience and be ready to work flexible hours. Apply tor- EXPERIENCED WAITER - required for busy hotel restaurant in Naxxar. Must be fluent in English, be able to work flexi- ble hours including weekends and pub- lic holidays. Min 2 years' experience in similar position. Call +35627988357 for more info - The Village Hotel LTD. RANGER LTD – requesting drivers for heavy goods vehicles. Contact us for fur- ther details by email: godwin@godwins- or tel: 21377007 SECURIT Y GUARDS - Kingdom Security Malta Ltd requires filling posi- tions as Security Guards. Applicants should be customer care orientated, smart and flexible for shift work. Kindly call on 21413777 THAI STREET FOOD COOK – Padthai Kitchen of Mosta is seeking the immedi- ate employment, on a full-time basis, of 2 Thai Street Food cooks. Their duties will include choosing the right ingredi- ents on the market, food preparation, and cooking of authentic Thai Street food dishes. The ideal candidates should be in possession of the appropriate cater- ing qualifications. In the absence of qualifications, a minimum of five years' experience is required, in a similar Thai restaurant working as a cook. A salary of €9,600 per annum is being offered to the suitable candidates. Interested can- didates are to send their cv by email to with the words 'Thai Street Food Cook' by not later than Monday 5th November 2022. CLASSIFIEDS INFO @MEDIATODAY.COM.MT THE operations of the Reletting of Urban Property (Regulations) Ordinance, Chapter 69 of the Laws of Malta and Act X of 2009 violated the fundamental rights of the plaintiff as provided by Article 1 Protocol 1 of the Eu- ropean Convention of Human Rights, but the amendments introduced by virtue of Act XX- IV of 2021 do not breach these rights. This was held in a judg- ment delivered by the First Hall Civil Court in its Constitution- al competence by Honourable Mr. Justice Grazio Mercieca on the 18th October 2022, in the names of 'Dottor Anna Busuttil v. L-Avukat tal-Istat et.' The plaintiff, a co-owner of half an undivided share of a casa bot- tega, inherited in 1997, has been renting the property to a tenant who is also a co-owner way back before 1995, with today's rent amounting to €138 every six months. The plaintiff claimed that the value of the rent of the property is much more than that established in the dispositions of Chapter 69 of the Laws of Mal- ta which were then amended by Act X of 2009. Furthermore, the plaintiff claimed that these dis- positions do not bolster the prin- ciple of proportionality between the rights of the owner and those of the tenant, thus going against the provisions of the Consti- tution and Article 1 Protocol 1 of the European Convention of Human Rights. In his defence, the tenant claimed that he did not violate any rights pursuant to the own- er since he was abiding to the law as stipulated by Chapter 69. Furthermore, the State Advo- cate as the primary defendant to the case, stated that the plaintiff had remedies at law which safe- guard her rights, namely Article 1531D of the Civil Code and Article 4A of Chapter 69 which allow for the rent to go up to 2% of the current market value of the property. These remedies were introduced by virtue of Act XXVII of 2018 and Act XX- IV of 2021. The State Advocate claimed that these articles have the necessary strength at law in creating social justice in the public interest, provide for a just balance between the tenant and the owner, and in certain cases it could also lead to the termina- tion of the lease. The Court established that the current local free rental market is generally at the rate of 3.5% of the value of the property on the market. Act XXIV of 2021 gives the right to increase the rent up to 2% of the current market value of the property. The Court also stated that jurisprudence from the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg established that the owner is entitled to less than the standard commercial rates, due to the consideration of social protection of residential accommodation. Hence, such a rate is just, and from the prom- ulgation of this Act, these dispo- sitions of the law do not violate the fundamental rights to the enjoyment of property. Howev- er, prior to the promulgation of this Act, the plaintiff is correct in her claims to be given a fair com- pensation since the Court ac- knowledged that the laws at that time did not offer the necessary balance between the rights of the owner and the tenant. The Court interestingly also remarked that the State Advocate's plea in re- lation to the fact that the owner has an effective remedy at law to safeguard his property rights, is valid after the promulgation of Act XXIV of 2021. The Court refers to jurispru- dence of the Court of Human Rights which state that, in order to establish whether the State's interference is permissible re- garding Article 1 Protocol 1, three elements need to be in- vestigated, these being; (i) that the measure has been carried out under a legal framework; (ii) that its purpose was legitimate; (iii) and to maintain a good and proportional balance between the social goal and the need to respect the fundamental rights of the owners. Article 1 Protocol 1 of the Eu- ropean Convention of Human Rights states that: Every natural or legal person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions. No one shall be deprived of his possessions except in the public interest and subject to the conditions provided for by law and by the general principles of international law. Although the Court infers that the Protocol allows for the in- terference of enjoyment of the property for the public interest, the Court has to establish if the owner had to bear a dispropor- tionate and excessive burden by examining all the elements in- volved, not only the conditions of the rent and the interference of the State in rental contractual relations but also on the exist- ence of procedural safeguards that ensure the operations of the system and the impact it has on the rights of the owner are not arbitrary or unpredictable. The uncertainties of the legal, admin- istrative and authoritative prac- tices is a key factor that is taken in consideration on judging the conduct of the State. The Court further remarked that as once the State's obliga- tion is to safeguard a balance be- tween the private interest in the enjoyment of their property and the need of the State to provide for social accommodation, the compensation that the Court can provide is based on this bal- ance and not connected to the rules of the free market. Thus, the Court concluded that the laws provided by Chapter 69 (before the introduction of Act XXIV of 2021) and Act X of 2009 violate the fundamental rights of the plaintiff as provided by Arti- cle 1 Protocol 1 of the European Convention of Human Rights. Furthermore, the balance be- tween the rights of the owner and the tenant has not been reached, as the current rent rate based on these laws do not re- flect the current market and the property value for the years be- tween 1987, (which is the year in which the European Convention of Human Rights was transposed into Maltese law) and 2021. Based on this decision the Court liquidated damages in fa- vour of the plaintiff, establish- ing a compensation of €90,000 reflecting pecuniary damag- es incurred and also €1,000 in non-pecuniary damages, con- demning the State Advocate to pay these amounts together with legal annual interest of 8%. Violation of the Right to Property – Post Introduction of Controlled Rent Residential Leases Act DR IAN BARBARA Mifsud & Mifsud Advocates

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