Mum takes on Government

[ 4 ] 24/04/2014 |

1044719_10200833845287781_4615930420266342600_nIn case you are not aware of, Expats, no matter if they are EU residents, work and pay taxes in Malta, are charged 30% more in electricity and water bills (utility bills) than the Maltese, if the property they rent is registered under the domestic rate instead of the residential one.

Patricia Graham, who is just a mum doing what’s right, decided to fix things. She started by launching the Facebook group: Class action against ARMS Ltd. She emphasizes that anyone who is renting, should walk away from any property not offering the residential rate by way of Form H

This Facebook group has been formed for interested parties to stay up to date with the latest issues affecting Non Maltese Residents, who are EU Nationals, initially with regard to the over charging by the Utility company ARMS Ltd and the two tier tariff imposed by them.

The admin and its members, are joining forces and fight in court against this discrimination, and slowly but steadily seem to be winning this battle for equality and fair prices, as is the norm and the law all across EU for EU nationals.

In this group you can seek advice and join forces with the rest of us, to make Malta a more fair place to raise our children, a place where racism, inequalities and unlawful practices are not tolerated.


A member of the group, Constantine Korniliou, gave me his permission to share with you the following post:

Hi all,

I’ve been a member of the group for a while now and would like to express my gratitude for all the hard work being done by the members to spread the word in regards to this offensive and appalling situation with the rates. I would like to emphasize the disgraceful attitude landlords have towards the tenants and to point out a few things which I believe have gone uncommented here.

First and foremost I would like to point out the reason landlords are against the tenants gaining equal rights and equal rates. Most landlords have more than one property for rent which they usually register it to one of their family members. That helps them having the property being charged at a normal rate and not a domestic rate.

They then proceed to charge tenants a domestic rate, calculating that via the Arms internet calculator which of course is way above the normal rate. Last time I calculated this, it turned out to about 22 cents per unit for electricity. Therefore making a substantial profit on the bills. As friendly and helpful a landlord might seem, please wake up to the fact that they are ripping us off.

What can we do?
While its great that we now have the Form H to do us justice, landlords are resisting change. The whole system in general is resisting change. Arms is supporting landlords and simply gives tenants the run around.
As the rates have now been lowered to around 10 cents per unit, it is my opinion that it is not the tenants responsibility to chase for these changes to take effect.
Things are simple and if everyone follows what I have done, landlords will have no other option than obey with the new status quo.

How can we achieve that?
It’s simple. Calculate yourself the bill by simply multiplying the units used with the normal rate and simply pay that. End of story and end of discussion. The more people that do that, less the chances are of landlords reacting.

Is the landlord still requesting the full rate?
Why don’t you ask him for the official Arms bill that he receives every 3 or 6 months. Lets see if he presents that to you and what rates is he really paying.

Are they threatening you with eviction cause of that?
Simply post it on here and ask people to join you when you meet your landlord. The more the merrier! Let your landlord get the shock of his life when he sees 50 people outside of the property.

Property Agents:
They can’t guarantee or help you with the rates? Are they resisting this change with the poor excuse that it harms their business?
Well then..simply refuse to pay their commission and the tax they want on that.

Are they also having a threatening stance towards you?
Simply post it on here and ask people to join you in your next meeting with them. Lets see if bad PR and people pressure will harm their business more than pressuring landlords to adhere to the new rules.

Lastly, and this goes out to ALL tenants.
Lets create a page for private landlords which respect tenants. Lets cut the middle man(agents).
Talk to your landlords. Get them to join the new page and post when they have a property available.
I am personally fed up of all the bullshit. Lets change the attitudes ourselves. Peer pressure does work!

That’s All.


Useful links:

Facebook Group Class Action against ARMS Ltd.
Form H 
Bill calculator 
Electricity tariffs
Water tariffs



Category: Guest posts, Resources for Malta Mums

Comments (4)

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  1. Katrina Vella says:

    she is an absolute champion. the hard work and dedication she puts in to help others is something you dont see enough of in this world anymore. im lucky enough to have struck 2 landlords with residential rates (and i am a foreigner despite my surname) but when thinking of moving again i came across this page and its warnings and its cause and its made me really want to stand up and fight along side Patricia!

  2. Patricia is a mother to us all……the system must employ…if only she had the time..

  3. Rene says:

    If you have the residence card and you have a good landlord, you can simply ask him to add you to his ARMS account. This will change the rate to the residential one.

  4. Patricia advises: 'Please print and attach to all contracts. Make sure it has your signature and that of the Landlord and dated:
    " Lessee is responsible to register himself/herself with Arms Malta by the form H for the residential rate which can be done by filling in form "H" from Arms Malta and will be signed by the landlord. The bill may be calculated using the website using the right rate as according to the number of persons registered to reside in the property.!ut/p/c5/04_SB8K8xLLM9MSSzPy8xBz9CP0os3gfC3fX4FAvE0MLtyBTA89gbxdn99AAQ0c3I_1wkA6zeGd3Rw8Tcx8DA3-jMAMDIz_T4ECD0GBjA09jiLwBDuBooO_nkZ-bql-QnZ3m6KioCADdyOlv/dl3/d3/L2dBISEvZ0FBIS9nQSEh/ '

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