One of the main reasons for the large number of vacant inherited properties in Malta is that the properties are usually tied up in court proceedings as heirs are often in disagreement over the inheritance. In this respect, amendments to the civil code came into force on the 1st of April 2016.
Prior to these amendments, the time period within which heirs were required to sell inherited property was that of 5-10 years, which means that property could be held up for decades before being placed back on the market.
In a bid to reduce the number of vacant properties, amendments to the civil code now allow for the sale of an inherited vacant property after three years, provided that 51% of the heirs are in agreement on the price which the property should be sold for. This allows for the sale of a property when the majority of the heirs agree to it.
It is estimated that 41,232 properties in Malta are currently vacant. These measures should aid in cutting down these numbers.