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Letters • March 21 2004

Condominium injustice

Raymond Sammut

As indicated by the latest statistics of immobile property sales and as reported by estate agents, foreigners are opting to purchase apartments rather than maisonettes or villas since the latter are no longer competively priced in comparison to same in other countries.
As more apartments are being bought by foreigners, Maltese residents in condominiums are finding themselves in a minority. As everybody knows, the Maltese standard of living is much lower than that of more developed European countries, although our cost of living has escalated considerably.
Maltese families/owners living in condominiums are finding it difficult to keep up with the foreign owners of apartments when it comes to contributions for upkeep of their communal property or for renovations recommended by such foreigners.
Under the pretext of democracy, Maltese families are being asked to make exorbitant contributions to renovation works, gardening fees for gardens of a few meters of soil, an appointment of a so called ‘Administrator’ to be paid an annual remuneration of Lm300 when such need never existed, and a well remunerated maintenance head engaged to conduct cleaning of a swimming pool and replacement of light bulbs in a parking area. Gradually, Maltese owners of apartments are becoming slaves in their own land.
This situation has been aggravated by an unjust and controversial law enacted through parliament by our politicians known as the condominium law (The Condominium Act – Chapter 398 of the Laws of Malta, ACT XXIX of 1997, as amended by Act XVI of 2001). This law was originally proposed by our socialist politicians who claim to be the Worker’s Party, during their short term in government a few years ago, and was highly criticised by the Nationalist opposition at that time. Once the Nationalist party regained power, it made some modifications to the subject draft, and after some vacillations and hesitations, passed this unjust law through parliament.
Whilst the workers’ families residing in apartments are finding it difficult to make ends meet due to the ever escalating cost of living, and have been subjected to the dictate of foreign owners of apartments, the people’s representatives heap high rewards onto themselves with considerable salary increases, and an especially formulated retirement pension.
What is the point of building government houses for the workers’ families, when other workers’ families are facing the danger of eviction from their home as they fall victim to bankruptcies when unable to keep paying the hefty fees claimed from them? Will the Housing Authority build more housing for the worker and old folk being evicted from their habitats (living in apartments). The politicians are not concerned with such injustices of their own doing. They are currently more eager to gain a seat in the European Parliament and obtain all the perks this entails, rather than worry about workers who might end up without a home.





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