Dear Landlord, Could You Change My Light Bulb

By Denise Rejec

“So, I’m sitting comfortably on the sofa reading a book, when suddenly I’m in the dark! Just this time, it’s not a power cut – the light bulb of my reading lamp has given up. What should I do… Should I call my landlord?”

As a renter, you’ve probably had a few dilemmas as to when to call your landlord, and you might have encountered the same light-bulb situation as mentioned above. In such situations, you could refer to your lease agreement that should stipulate what is covered by your landlord and what is borne by the tenant. This is further explained in the interesting post outlining the rental procedure. But some things might not be so black and white.

Let’s get to answering the burning question: When should you call your landlord?


You should keep your landlord in the loop if:

  • Any appliances malfunction or stop working
  • The water heater leaks rusty water
  • The air conditioner quits on you (provided you haven’t forgotten how to use the remote control or you’ve already checked that the wall switch connected to it is on)
  • A toilet or drain gets blocked
  • You happen to face the dreaded circumstances of a plumber’s shoddy work such as a wet patch in the wall caused by a leaking pipe!


It doesn’t happen very often, but let’s say the washing machine or dishwasher goes faulty, resulting in a flood. Your landlord won’t be happy with the news of course. Flooding causes great damage to parquet and laminate flooring, and even in the case of the more common tiled floors, water can seep through the grouting and cause long-term mold and humidity problems. So it’s imperative that your landlord is informed sooner rather than later.


It’s hard to ignore the fact that it gets very humid in Malta, especially with all the complaints you hear about this from locals and foreigners alike. Consequentially, with this weather element being as it is, some lease agreements might include a waiver declaring the potential for mold. This almost invisible fungus is usually found in the form of spots on doors, cupboards, and the more visible whitish patches on clothing that hasn’t been left to air before being put back in the wardrobe. You needn’t bring such finds to your landlord’s attention. However, a damp wall in the basement turning into a fungus garden is a different and urgent matter altogether!


It is your right to live in a place that is habitable, so if your rental property becomes invaded by hordes of cockroaches or rodents, your landlord must address this infestation in a timely manner.


In the case of a break-in, it is the norm that the owner will cover damages made to any apertures during the incident. But the landlord is not responsible for stolen personal belongings and items that aren’t listed in the inventory attached to the lease agreement.  


In Malta, one usually hears of havoc caused by fireworks factories, but in the rare case of a fire at your rental home, a call to the fire department should be followed by one to your landlord.

We hope to have enlightened you with the sort of cases your landlord would be ‘happy’ or perhaps rather unhappy to hear about. Don’t call them to come change a light bulb or fuse, tighten a loose bolt, oil a squeaky hinge, or when spots from condensation from hot food show up on the kitchen cupboards or the lamp above the dinner table. Even if you have a heated argument with your neighbour, your landlord needn’t know (unless the neighbour informs them first). Remember: Be in touch when there’s a valid need and try to call at a decent hour. Last but not least: Good communication is key.

Ultimate Guide: How To Find Your Perfect Rental Home

By Denise Rejec

Home hunting isn’t reserved solely for the homebuyer. With the large number of people looking to rent property in Malta, the rental market is rather busy, with lots of property types available to the renter. It is advisable to get cracking with your search from the moment you begin to think of relocating, especially if you want to secure your most desired temporary home.

If you’re beginning the hunt from overseas, talk to people who’ve already made the move and search the internet for tips on relocating to Malta. If you’re already in Malta, get cracking on your legwork by walking around the towns and villages that interest you to get an idea of where you might want to live. Then start the hunt for your dream rental home with these easy tips.


We all tend to get carried away by the look of that fancy walk-in shower or white leather sofa, but what’s most important at this stage is to establish your budget and prioritise your needs. Consider the practicalities like the size of the property you require, location, and so on.


Begin searching as soon as you’re aware that you need to move to improve your chances of finding your perfect (or near-perfect) rental home. Places rent within minutes in Malta, so you’ll also need to search often.


Renting is a rather speedy process, so it pays to be prepared when your dream abode comes along. It’s wise to leave a deposit to secure your place once you’ve set your heart on something. You must also be prepared to be disappointed should a property you choose be gone by the time you decide on it – demand for rentals in Malta is really high, so if you like it take it. But remember: If you’re using an estate agent, don’t let them pressure you into going for a place you don’t want to live in. Keep looking till you find what’s right for you – you have endless rental options.


If you can’t spare the time or energy to locate your home, consider hiring an agent to help you. This route may involve fees, but it could ease the process and cause less stress. Your agent will be able to point out the properties that are most suited to your needs and guide you through the rental process.


Be specific about what you’re looking for, and ask your agent to send you a list of potential rentals with details and photos based on your requirements.


You could talk to the current tenants and/or potential neighbours to find out about how accessible or approachable your potential landlord is. Once you get chatting, extract more helpful information from them: What’s the neighbourhood like? Does the couple next door like to throw loud parties? If you’re renting an apartment: Are the common areas quiet and well-kept? Here’s when you can let the detective in you surface.


Visualise your home and list what matters most to you, then use this list during your search – either online or when consulting your agent. You’ll probably have more specific requirements like parking space, number of rooms needed, duration of stay, furnished or unfurnished, and so on. The RB Malta website will help you narrow down your search. When checking our list of available properties, click on the ‘Filters’ tab in the upper left corner of the map and select your requirements from the comprehensive list of categories that are available for your use.


Once you think you’ve found your ideal home, take a deep breath and a step back… Are there any alarm bells going off inside your head? If you have any concerns, get an outsider’s perspective as this will often provide clarity.

Enjoy your search, and we wish you all the success in finding your perfect rental home!

The Jay Jay Properties team.