Activists on Thursday welcomed changes to the Private Residential Leases Act, saying their concerns over vulnerable tenants have been addressed. 

In a statement following a parliamentary committee meeting on Tuesday, Solidarjetà, Moviment Graffitti and Malta Tenant Support said the amended bill will introduce much-needed standards within the sector aimed at curbing overcrowding.

Among others, landlords will now be limited to renting their property to a maximum of two tenants per bedroom, they explained.

In February, tenant unions and a group of 17 NGOs had challenged the original proposal saying it would reward abusive landlords while punishing tenants. 

Then in March, Yanika Saliba Vidal - a lawyer at the housing ministry - said proposals forcing tenants to stay in their properties for the duration of their contract or face a penalty will be scrapped.

On Thursday, the three organisations welcomed the removal of the "draconian clause that would have removed every flexibility to tenants in finding alternative accommodation" during the last six months of a one-year contract.

They thanked the Minister for Social Accommodation and Opposition members on the parliamentary committee, "for listening to our concerns and finding a way forward that does not penalise the most vulnerable in society".

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