Malta Real Estate Glossary of Terms

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  • Air Space - The area from the surface of land upward.
  • Apartment - A residential unit accessible by passage through common hallway shared with other units
  • Atrium - A courtyard or patio surrounded by a house. May be open to the outside or be roofed with skylights to admit natural light; typically contains plants. Also, an open area in the center of a multi-storey building that extends to the top of the building. Rooms on the upper floors are commonly accessed by balcony-type corridors overlooking the atrium.


  • Bachelor Apartment - A one bedroom apartment where the bedroom is separate from other rooms.
  • Backyard - A yard or expanse at the rear of a house.
  • Balcony - A platform that projects from the wall of a building and is surrounded by a railing, balustrade, or parapet.
  • Bar - Commercial premises licensed to sell drinks and snacks.
  • Basement - The lowermost portion of a structure partly or wholly below ground level; often used for storage
  • Boathouse - A residential unit originally used to house a boat.
  • Boxroom - A small room used for used for storage of small items.
  • Bungalow - A residential unit either detached or semidetached or terraced which has it's floor plan on one level, at maximum with split level flooring, and with private entrance.


  • Cable - Cable TV
  • Carport - An open-sided shelter for an automotive vehicle, usually formed by a roof projecting from the side of a building.
  • Car Space - An allotted space within a parking lot or garage, which is clearly marked, or enumerated for private use by the person owning or renting that space. The parking space may vary in size and shape as no restrictions exist.
  • Castle - A fortified stronghold converted to residential use.
  • Cellar - A room or enclosed space used for storage, usually beneath the ground or under a building.
  • Common Roof - A roof which is shared
  • Conservatory - A heavily glazed structure, frequently attached to and directly entered from a dwelling, in which plants are protected and displayed. Unlike the greenhouse, an informal structure situated in the working area of a garden
  • Corner Apartment - Apartment located in corner of a building, thereby enjoying more light.
  • Country View - Views of green areas, unbuilt land.
  • Courtyard - An open space surrounded by walls or buildings, adjoining or within a building such as a large house or housing complex.
  • Cul-de-sac - A dead end street which widens sufficiently at the end to permit an automobile to make a "U" turn.


  • Deck Area - A roofless, floored structure, typically with a railing, that adjoins a house.
  • Detached - Residential unit surrounded by freestanding walls and generally sited on a separate lot
  • Drive-in - A road leading up to a private house
  • Duplex - Term used in conjunction with penthouse, maisonette or apartment and denoting that the floor plan is on two floors instead of one.


  • En-Suite - French variant for "alongside". Used in real estate to describe a bathroom or shower alongside and with access from a bedroom.


  • Facade - The outside front wall of a building.
  • Factory - A commercial premises licensed for use in manufacture.
  • Farmhouse - A typical abode used by a farmer to accommodate both him and his livestock. The farmer would occupy two or three rooms at first floor level, and the mangers with livestock would typically be on the ground floor The staircase is usually external and all widows usually overlook the internal courtyard. Any external windows are usually tiny.
  • Flatlet - A residential unit with own entrance located below a house of villa.
  • French Window - A pair or one of a pair of windows extending to the floor and opening in the middle.


  • Games Room - A recreation room, especially a room used for table games, such as pool or table tennis.
  • Garage - A unit the size of a small car or anything large used to park a motorized vehicle or small boat. The unit is walled in from at least three sides, may or may not have a door, and may or may not have water and electricity.
  • Guesthouse - A private home which has been converted for the exclusive use of guest accommodation.


  • Hall - A corridor or passageway in a building.
  • Holiday Apartment - A residential unit, usually close to recreational areas such as the sea or country side, with licensed permit for short lets. The unit would be furnished, but might not have certain amenities such as a washing machine, telephone or television. Kitchen should be fully stocked with cutlery, crockery etc., and beds should be ready to sleep in. Bathrooms should have towels and mats. Water and electricity consumption is charged at a higher rate, but this is usually included in the daily rent unless otherwise specified.
  • Hotel - An establishment that provides lodging and usually meals and other services for travelers and other paying guests.
  • House of Character - An old house usually found on the outskirts of town, or in villages and hamlets. The typical house of character has a central or back courtyard, several staircases all internal, thick walls usually filled with a mixture of soil and broken pottery, a cellar, and in some cases a birth room. Also see definitions for Farmhouse and Townhouse.


  • Intercom - An electronic intercommunication system, as between two rooms.


  • Jacuzzi - A large bath like or pool like structure equipped electrically to direct jets of water and air bubbles at the occupant or occupants. May be internal or external as on a roof or terrace.


  • Land - A tract of undeveloped real estate usually without any permits for development, as opposed to a plot.
  • Landlord - The owner of any real estate, such as a house, apartment building or land, that is leased or rented to another person, called the tenant.
  • Lessee - Tenant leasing property.
  • Lessor - One who leases property to a tenant.
  • Library - A room in a private home for literary and artistic materials, such as books, periodicals, newspapers, pamphlets, prints, records, and tapes, are kept for reading, reference, or lending.
  • Living Room - A room in a private residence intended for general social and leisure activities. Also called front room.
  • Long Let - Rental of property for a minimum of 6 months.
  • Lounge - A living room.


  • Maisonette A- residential unit with one or two overlying or underlying neighbours, each with independent entrances, and with living quarters on one level, except for a washroom or basement and garage.
  • Master Bedroom - Main bedroom


  • Office - A place in which business, clerical, or professional activities are conducted.
  • Open Plan - Arrangement of the interior of a building without distinct barriers such as partitions.


  • Palazzo - A large splendid residence or public building, such as a palace or museum.
  • Pantry - A room, usually alongside the kitchen, designated for storage of beverages, food stuff and if large enough any additional kitchen appliances such as a dishwasher, deep freeze etc.
  • Parapet - A low protective wall or railing along the edge of a raised structure such as a roof or balcony.
  • Parquet - A flooring made of pieces of wood fitted together to form a pattern.
  • Patio - An outdoor space for dining or recreation that adjoins a residence and is often paved.
  • Penthouse - Top floor apartment with one or more terraces. The overlying roof may be of private or common use, but must be unbuilt. The main attraction of a penthouse, beside the terrace, is to have complete privacy from any overhead disturbance.
  • Plot - A measured area of land; a lot.
  • Pool - A structure containing a body of water. The pool may be dug out, elevated with access by staircase, and may vary greatly in size. A splash pool is the smallest, followed by plunge pool and then swimming pool.
  • Porch - An open or enclosed gallery or room attached to the outside of a building; a verandah.
  • Private Roof - Roof accessible by only one property.


  • Restaurant - Establishment where refreshments or meals are served to paying guests.
  • Roof - External top part of a residential unit. May or may not have access to it. There are cases where a roof is private, as in not shared, but has no access.
  • Roof Garden - A garden on the roof of a building, especially one found in an urban setting.


  • Sauna - A room or enclosure for taking a dry heat bath.
  • School - An institution for the instruction of people
  • Security Deposit - A payment required by a landlord to ensure that a tenant pays rent on time and keeps the rental unit in good condition. If the tenant damages the property or leaves owing rent, the landlord can use the security deposit to cover what the tenant owes.
  • Semidetached - Semidetached housing consists of pairs of houses built side by side as units sharing a party wall and usually in such a way that each house's layout is a mirror image of its twin
  • Solitary Maisonette - A recently coined term used to distinguish a maisonette which is at first or second floor level, and which has no underlying residential neighbours, but a commercial unit such as a store, or office, or otherwise a garage.
  • Store - A unit which can be of any size, has it's own independent secured doorway or shutter, and has adequate water proofing. Water and electricity is usually present.
  • Sublease - A rental agreement or lease between a tenant and a new tenant (called a sub-lessee) who will either share the rental or take over from the first tenant. The sub-lessee pays rent directly to the tenant. The tenant is still completely responsible to the landlord for the rent and for any damage, including that caused by the sub-lessee. Most landlords prohibit subleases unless they have given prior written consent.


  • Tenant - Anyone, including a corporation, who rents real estate, with or without a house or structure, from the owner (called the landlord). The tenant may also be called the "lessee."
  • Tenement - Everything that may be occupied under a lease by a tenant.
  • Terraced - Term used to denote a residential unit which has a private entrance and which has neighbours touching it's walls both to the left and right. Thus one can find terraced houses, terraced bungalows, terraced villas.
  • Timeshare - An arrangement under which a purchaser receives an interest in real estate and the right to use an accommodation or amenities, or both, for a specified period and on a recurring basis. Used primarily for selling vacation properties.


  • Villa - A property with private entrance beyond a front gate and usually a driveway, also with a somewhat grander floor plan. The easiest to distinguish are the semidetached and fully detached villas. A large garden, either surrounding, or front and back is usually present. The main features would therefore be a distinguished entrance through a gate and front porch or garden preferably with a drive way, a large hall, wider hall ways and floor plan spanning two or three floors.
  • Void - Having no legal force or effect; legally invalid.


  • Waiver - he intentional or voluntary relinquishment of a known claim or right.
  • Warehouse - A large storage unit with entrance permitting passage of at least storage facilitating vehicles such as a fork lifter, or ideally entrance of transport vehicles to be loaded. The ceiling height varies but is usually higher then 13 courses .