To find a place to rent over here went online and looked at the main estate agents ReMax-Malta, Frank Salt and Dhalia. Searched for flats in the areas we wanted with two bedrooms and within our price range (although over here the offered rent on available places changes daily!) and contacted each agent with the references of the flats on their sites we liked, plus a spec of what we wanted and where.
Frank Salt replied saying thank you, we shall look into the references and arrange viewings with the ones that are available. We never heard anything.
Remax and Dhalia never even bothered to reply.
We were staying quite near a Dhalia office so we emailed again after 3 weeks to see if they’d reply but a day after sending it we thought it best to pop in. So we went in and they had received our email so we arranged some viewings for the next day with one of the agents. We arranged them for 13.30 and he gave us his personal email so we could send him the references of the ones we liked and he’d look at ones they had not online that also fit our spec. Got in, emailed him the references and he replied saying ‘great, see you at 14.30′- no apology or explanation for changing the time. I had an interview at 15.30 which he knew about so an hour to view flats is not massively helpful. We had told him our maximum budget per month at the moment is 450. The first flat he showed us was 550.
We called ReMax head office, told them where we were staying and what sort of thing we were looking for. They took all the details and said they’d contact the letting manager near us and call us the next day to arrange viewings. Didn’t hear anything the next day. We called again, and there was no record of our call. We gave all the info again and were promised a call back the next day. 3 days later they text me asking if we still needed help.
Now, I’m sure they’re all very helpful most of the time and other people will have had great experiences with them, but this blog is about my adventure and giving advice and these are my personal findings.
Then we happened to be wandering around one day and saw another estate agent that we hadn’t seen online called Bel Air. So we just popped in, an agent happened to be free so we told him what we were looking for, said we knew the budget was pretty low but we don’t know for sure what our income will be each month so don’t want to stretch ourselves. He then gave us a time to meet the next day and he’d show us what he had.
We met him the next day and he showed us just 3 properties but they were all exactly what we had specified and all within the price range and all really decent. Joe and I liked the first one he showed us so we got dropped home, had a chat just to make sure we both wanted it and then called the agent back and let him know we wanted to put the deposit down to secure it.
We were shopping in another town by this point and he came out of his way to pick us up, took us to see the flat again so we could be sure, he went around the place with us with a fine tooth comb looking for issues or anything that needed fixing, showing us what all the switches were for and how to use the appliances.
We handed over the deposit then the next day we met the landlady and handed over the rest of the money and got they keys. The agent then picked us up where we were staying and took us and all our stuff and moved us in!
He literally couldn’t have been more helpful.
The place we’ve got is lovely. It’s a short bus ride from where Joe works, in a nice quiet area but it’s a short bus ride to shops/pubs/clubs etc, two bedrooms, air con, lovely finish too. It’s furnished with a lovely black and white theme with a corner sofa (which I love!). I really can’t wait to get friends and family over to stay and show it off and it’s only €450 a month (that’s about £370).
Compared to the £540 rent plus £90 council tax each month on my one bedroomed mould hole in the UK, I really can’t complain!