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

“Emphyteusis is a deal whereby one particular of the contracting parties grants to the other, in perpetuity or for a time, a tenement for a said yearly hire or ground-hire which the latter binds himself to spend to the former, either in funds or in variety, as an acknowledgment of the tenure.”

Emphyteusis is regular of Continental regulation (European) and not English regulation. It is pretty various from lease or lease of a dwelling residence or a piece of land. This is due to the fact as opposed to lease, Emphyteusis is a genuine right which attaches to the land staying contracted and not to the man or woman contracting this kind of right. On the other hand, lease, getting a private proper, does not attach to the land or the dwelling house getting granted, but only to the human being getting the lease. The legal implications arising out of these differences are substantial, specifically with regards to the legal rights and obligations of the contracting events.

The deal of Emphyteusis should be made by general public deed before a Notary General public. It would be null if done by implies of a personal producing. Lease, on the other hand may well be entered into by non-public producing and will have the power of legislation. The deal of Emphyteusis are not able to be improved during the emphyteutical interval. As soon as the floor-rent is established, it are unable to be modified.

Post 1494 provides a few critical phrases which require to be clarified:

i. perpetuity or for a time

There are two sorts of empytheutical grants: Perpetual Emphyteusis and temporary Emphyteusis. The former is a payment which need to be effected annually with the legal alternative of redemption. Redemption renders the land freehold. Short term Emphyteusis, on the other hand, is a deal for a number of many years. (Typically in Malta the most well known range of decades contracted for are 17 yrs, 21 many years, 99 yrs and 150 many years.)

ii. stated yearly hire or ground-rent

The ‘canone’ or ground-hire have to be said in the agreement, below suffering of nullity, and is to be compensated yearly to the dominus, i.e. the owner of the residence.


The utilista acknowledges the truth that he can lawfully enjoy that home and will have to accept the dominus as staying the true owner of these home.

The agreement of Emphyteusis is a sui generis agreement whereby the dominus, who is the true operator of the house, is temporarily divested of all his ownership legal rights. These legal rights and obligations are shifted to the ‘utilista,’ the individual enjoying this kind of grant, in the course of these types of period. Upon the expiration of the contract, the house, with all the advancements manufactured to it, will revert to the dominus and there will be no correct to increase the Emphyteusis.

In the aged days, Emphyteusis utilized to be granted by land homeowners to farmers who tended the land. From time to time the arrangement would be that as acknowledgment, rather than paying money, the farmer would supply to the dominus portion of the develop, harvest or fruit yielded by that land.

Ownership legal rights and obligations are, through the running of the Emphyteusis, vested in the utilista and not the true proprietor. Write-up 1507 states that the utilista is sure to have out any obligationimposed by law on the house owners of buildings or lands. This demonstrates the duty which the utilista has in conditions of servicing of the property. He should treat such property as if it were his very own. If, even so, there is sizeable expenditure in carrying out these obligation, the utilista may utilize just before the Civil Court docket 1st Corridor to desire that the dominus be compelled to lead a part of the expense. In such a case the court docket will choose into consideration, mostly, the contract of Emphyteusis entered into by the functions, the remaining period of the grant, the total of floor-lease and other situation suitable to the desire.

The utilista has a pretty broad right of disposing of the assets held under Emphyteusis he may well dispose of the emphyteutical tenement by usually means of a general public deed which can either be an act inter vivos, i.e. designed for the duration of his life span, or causa mortis, i.e. produced after his loss of life, in this situation, by means of a will. The utilista could sell the Emphyteusis to a third social gathering for a specified volume of money. Clearly, he will be providing the remainder of the emphyteutical interval. What’s more, he might grant the residence the moment yet again beneath Emphyteusis, recognised as sub-Emphyteusis, in which scenario, he will be getting a ground-lease himself.

This sort of alienation of property does not call for the permission or consent of the dominus, in possibly situation. Furthermore, the legal rights and obligations of the utilista will, on transfer, be shifted on to the new utilista or sub-emphytheuta. The latter will only come to be the new utilista just after the dominus has acknowledged him. Until the new utilista is recognised to be incapable of carrying out his contractual obligations, the dominus are not able to refuse to acknowledge him. In cases wherever the dominus refuses to admit the new utilista, the latter will still keep on being personally certain to the previous for the payment of the floor-rent.

For the duration of the period of time of the managing of the Emphyteusis, the utilista has the appropriate to ‘alter the surface of the tenement, delivered he does not bring about any deterioration thereof'(Report 1506(2)). Thus, if the utilista would like to construct further more or to include further to the presently present buildings on the land, he could do so. Additionally, he is entitled to any ‘treasure trove’ that he may perhaps find on these types of property. The dominus is not entitled to a share.

On expiration of the Emphyteusis, the utilista is sure by regulation to return the land or tenement with all the improvements manufactured all over the yrs throughout which the residence was under Emphyteusis.


Resource by Natasha Buontempo

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