Maltese Law on Property – The Agreement of Emphyteusis

Post 1494 of the Maltese Civil Code (Chapter 16 of the Legislation of Malta), defines Emphyteusis as follows:

“Emphyteusis is a contract whereby one particular of the contracting events grants to the other, in perpetuity or for a time, a tenement for a mentioned annually rent or floor-hire which the latter binds himself to spend to the previous, either in revenue or in sort, as an acknowledgment of the tenure.”

Emphyteusis is normal of Continental law (European) and not English law. It is incredibly different from lease or hire of a dwelling property or a piece of land. This is since contrary to lease, Emphyteusis is a actual appropriate which attaches to the land getting contracted and not to the human being contracting such correct. On the other hand, lease, remaining a particular right, does not connect to the land or the dwelling property remaining granted, but only to the person obtaining the lease. The lawful implications arising out of these discrepancies are appreciable, in particular with regards to the legal rights and obligations of the contracting parties.

The deal of Emphyteusis must be designed by general public deed right before a Notary General public. It would be null if performed by signifies of a personal writing. Lease, on the other hand may perhaps be entered into by non-public crafting and will have the drive of law. The agreement of Emphyteusis cannot be modified through the emphyteutical period of time. At the time the ground-hire is proven, it cannot be modified.

Report 1494 delivers a few crucial phrases which require to be clarified:

i. perpetuity or for a time

There are two styles of empytheutical grants: Perpetual Emphyteusis and short term Emphyteusis. The former is a payment which have to be effected each year with the legal choice of redemption. Redemption renders the land freehold. Momentary Emphyteusis, on the other hand, is a contract for a quantity of several years. (Usually in Malta the most preferred range of many years contracted for are 17 yrs, 21 many years, 99 yrs and 150 a long time.)

ii. stated annually hire or floor-hire

The ‘canone’ or floor-lease will have to be said in the contract, below discomfort of nullity, and is to be compensated yearly to the dominus, i.e. the proprietor of the household.


The utilista recognizes the reality that he can legally enjoy that assets and will have to acknowledge the dominus as getting the real operator of this sort of assets.

The contract of Emphyteusis is a sui generis deal whereby the dominus, who is the serious operator of the property, is briefly divested of all his possession rights. This kind of legal rights and obligations are shifted to the ‘utilista,’ the man or woman savoring this sort of grant, during these time period. On the expiration of the deal, the home, with all the advancements made to it, will revert to the dominus and there will be no right to increase the Emphyteusis.

In the outdated times, Emphyteusis utilized to be granted by land house owners to farmers who tended the land. At times the arrangement would be that as acknowledgment, instead than shelling out revenue, the farmer would provide to the dominus component of the deliver, harvest or fruit yielded by that land.

Possession rights and obligations are, during the working of the Emphyteusis, vested in the utilista and not the authentic owner. Report 1507 states that the utilista is sure to have out any obligationimposed by legislation on the owners of buildings or lands. This demonstrates the accountability which the utilista has in terms of maintenance of the house. He should take care of this kind of assets as if it were his personal. If, having said that, there is sizeable price in carrying out these types of obligation, the utilista might utilize ahead of the Civil Court docket Initial Corridor to demand from customers that the dominus be compelled to add a portion of the cost. In these a case the court docket will get into consideration, mostly, the deal of Emphyteusis entered into by the events, the remaining period of the grant, the amount of money of ground-rent and other instances suitable to the desire.

The utilista has a extremely wide ideal of disposing of the house held underneath Emphyteusis he could dispose of the emphyteutical tenement by means of a community deed which can both be an act inter vivos, i.e. made for the duration of his life time, or causa mortis, i.e. made immediately after his dying, in this circumstance, by implies of a will. The utilista might provide the Emphyteusis to a 3rd occasion for a specified amount of money of dollars. Of course, he will be advertising the remainder of the emphyteutical time period. Additionally, he may possibly grant the house when once more beneath Emphyteusis, identified as sub-Emphyteusis, in which circumstance, he will be receiving a floor-hire himself.

These types of alienation of home does not require the permission or consent of the dominus, in either scenario. Also, the rights and obligations of the utilista will, on transfer, be shifted on to the new utilista or sub-emphytheuta. The latter will only turn into the new utilista soon after the dominus has acknowledged him. Unless the new utilista is regarded to be incapable of carrying out his contractual obligations, the dominus are unable to refuse to admit him. In conditions the place the dominus refuses to admit the new utilista, the latter will however remain personally sure to the former for the payment of the floor-rent.

Throughout the period of time of the managing of the Emphyteusis, the utilista has the ideal to ‘alter the surface of the tenement, presented he does not trigger any deterioration thereof'(Post 1506(2)). As a result, if the utilista would like to construct further or to insert further to the now current structures on the land, he could do so. Moreover, he is entitled to any ‘treasure trove’ that he may obtain on such house. The dominus is not entitled to a share.

On expiration of the Emphyteusis, the utilista is sure by legislation to return the land or tenement with all the improvements produced through the many years in the course of which the property was beneath Emphyteusis.