Notary Public & Commissioner for Oaths

1

What is the relevance of the ‘konvenju’ (promise of sale)?

The ‘konvenju’ is a binding promise between the seller and the buyer in which they agree to appear on a final deed of sale and purchase within the time-frame stipulated in the same ‘konvenju’, and with the price and conditions as set out therein.

This means that the parties cannot change their mind and decide not to appear on the final deed of sale. If one of the parties fails to do so, the other party can use the relative judicial procedure to force the other party to appear. The ‘konvenju’ will however typically allow the buyer to withdraw from it if the searches are not in order or if the bank loan is not given. Other conditions may be agreed upon between the parties.

What should be included in the ‘konvenju’?

The following things are essential:

  • Exact details of the property being sold (i.e. full address or proper boundaries to indicate where the property is situated, whether the airspace is being sold etc);
  • The price agreed upon and when is this payable;
  • Whether any deposit is being paid and when is it lost;
  • Whether the seller obliges himself to carry out any works/finishes until the date of sale;
  • Whether the price includes any furniture or appliances (if so, a full list is made);
  • Conditions that the ‘konvenju’ is subject to;
  • The period of validity of the ‘konvenju’.

Other recommended things are:

  • A plan showing the property, duly marked by an architect;
  • Guarantees that the seller will be giving on deed of sale such as that the property is structurally sound, that it is free from third party rights, that it is built according to permits etc;
  • Conditions that the property is subject to, especially in the case of apartments, maisonettes and garages forming part of a block already having a set of rules regulating the common parts.

 3.       Is any stamp duty payable on the ‘konvenju’?

Yes, the purchaser pays 1/5 of the total amount of stamp duty due upon the purchase. The Notary forwards this payment to the Inland Revenue upon registration of the ‘konvenju’ within 21 days from signing.

The total amount of stamp duty is currently calculated at the rate of 3.5% on the first EUR 150,000 and at the rate of 5% on remaining part of the price.

If, for any reason, the sale does not take place, you are entitled to recover the partial stamp duty paid. 

Next Article: ‘The Notary’s Searches.'

This is the second in a series of articles written by Notary Dr James Grech which are intended to provide basic and clearly understandable information on process of buying a property, with a special focus on first-time buyers. The aim is to facilitate life for first-time buyers and to put them more at ease when they come to purchase their first property.

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