Landlord fails to evict ex-emphyteuta
The First Hall of the Civil Court has dismissed a landlord's request for the eviction of a former emphyteuta on grounds that the emphyteuta was entitled to remain in occupation of the premises in terms of law.
This judgment was delivered by Mr Justice Tonio Mallia in a case filed by Maria Concetta Scicluna against Carmelo and Eve Farrugia.
The court heard that in 1988 Mrs Scicluna had granted premises in Qormi on title of emphyteusis for 17 years to David Vella. In 1990, Mr Vella transferred the remaining period of the grant of the premises to the Farrugias.
The grant ended in November 2004 and Mrs Scicluna asked the court to order the eviction of the Farrugias on grounds that they were occupying the premises without a legal title.
Mr Justice Mallia said the operative law was the Housing Decontrol Ordinance as amended in 1979. Section 12 (2) (b) provided that in the case of an emphyteutical grant entered into after June 21, 1979, and where the emphyteuta was a citizen of Malta and occupied the premises as his ordinary residence, then the emphyteuta was entitled to continue to occupy the premises under title of lease.
The Farrugias had remained in occupation of the Qormi premises after the termination of the emphyteusis and had offered Mrs Scicluna payment of rent.
The court added that Mrs Scicluna's submission that the benefit of the law applied only to the original emphyteuta was unfounded. Maltese case law had ruled that in cases such as this, any emphyteuta could remain in occupation of the premises by title of lease.
Mrs Scicluna's writ was, therefore, dismissed.
Lawyer Joseph Zammit Mckeon appeared for the Sciclunas and lawyer Mark Busuttil represented the Farrugias.