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Disclaimers – do they prevent the right to claim compensation?

  What is a disclaimer? Disclaimers are used to provide a warning to people they are designed to make sure that people are made aware of foreseeable risks of injury, or where responsibility will rest if items are lost, broken or stolen. Often when we take part in a potentially dangerous activity, the organiser will ask the participants to sign a disclaimer to confirm that they are aware of the risks the activity presents.   Reduction of risk, not responsibility Making sure that people appreciate certain dangers and that risks are understood is a good thing. We all want to reduce the risk of injury, damages, etc. and see less accidents happening. When people know what the risks are, they are minded to act safely and follow instructions carefully. Even with obvious risks, we benefit from being reminded. Disclaimer should only be seen as a warning, rather than a prevention of any liability whatsoever and used to make sure that when the instructions in any disclaimer have been fo

Road Rules - do they affect you?

As a general rule, every driver is liable for their actions, independently of what another road-user does, unless what happens is not solely and exclusively the fault of the other road-user.   Each and every time a person is charged in court with driving a motor vehicle in a negligent and / or reckless and / or dangerous manner or any other similar offence the presiding judge or magistrate is required to delve into the whether or not the driver of a motor vehicle was actually driving the motor vehicle in such manner.   In its judgement given on the 12 th December 2018 in respect of Appeal number 111/2018, the Maltese Court of Criminal Appeal held that whereas negligent or reckless driving occurs when the driver employs a lack of the normal prudence which one should observe in order to avoid the dangers the dangers that arise. The court also held that dangerous driving involves a certain degree of recklessness.   Whilst most people would assume that these offences relate so

Emphyteutical grants: Should I redeem the Ground-Rent (ċens)?

What is Emphyteusis? The concept of ground-rent ( ċens in Maltese ) , technically known as emphyteusis, was once a very popular contract condition in the transfer of property in Malta. Although still fairly common on the property market, as years go by it is slowly falling into disuse.   Generally speaking, emphyteusis is a contract where one party in an agreement grants to the other a property against payment of a yearly ground-rent. It can be granted temporarily (for a limited period of time) or perpetually (forever).   Can my ground-rent ( ċens ) be redeemed ?   Article 1501 of the Maltese Civil Code provides that where a grant in emphyteusis is made in perpetuity, the emphyteuta, even though the ground-rent may be revised at stated intervals of time, shall have the option to redeem the ground-rent. Where there are more than one dominus, the emphyteuta may elect to redeem from all of them or from one or more of them separately. Furthermore, where the property is held in su

Prenup vs Postnup contract: What’s the Difference and Who Needs One?

Whether you’re just about to tie the knot or are happily married, every couple can benefit from learning about marital agreements , better known as prenuptial and postnuptial contracts. Although two people generally get married because they love one another, once married, the couple’s property, assets and liabilities by default falls into what is known as the community of acquests. This means that marriage is also a contractual pact that binds a couple’s finances and resources. In Malta, a couple can opt out of the community of acquests regime either by entering into a prenup or a postnup.   What is a Prenuptial Contract? If you’re planning to get married in the near future, one of your decisions should be whether or not you should create a prenup. A prenup is a written contract entered into between two people before they get married. Its purpose is to regulate both parties’ assets and liabilities during the marriage and also in the event of a separation or divorce. Most prenup

New rent rates proposed in the new Controlled Leases Reform Act – a blessing or a farce?

A Bill has been tabled in Parliament in order to introduce the Controlled Leases Reform Act, 2021. This new law is intended to amend the laws which cap the rent chargeable on pre-1995 leases at the €185 plus the increase in cost of living every three years .   Back in 2018 the Housing (Decontrol) Ordinance was amended to introduce a procedure whereby the owner of a property which had originally been granted on temporary enfyteusis and which converted into a protected lease since the occupant was a Maltese citizen using the property as their ordinary residence could ask the Rent Regulation Board to review the rent or to order the occupant to leave the property on the lapse of five years if it was found that they have means which are deemed sufficient to disqualify them from continuing to enjoy the protected lease.   In terms of the 2018 amendments to the Housing (Decontrol) Ordinance, the owner of a property which had originally been granted on temporary enfyteusis and which con
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