Duties and Responsibilities of the Notary

The Notary publishing a contract is primarily bound by the Notarial Professions and Notarial Archives Act, Chapter 55 of the laws of Malta for:-

  • Ascertaining the identity of the parties and their capacity to contract
  • Ordaining of the contract adhering in the best way to the legal form in order to reach the objectives of the contracting parties
  • Registering any note by law required emanating from the same contract, in the Public and Land Registries where required and within the stipulated time
  • Archiving and registering of the original Act
  • As well as for the collection and payment of any dues and taxes pending in consideration of the said Act.
The Notary as a Public Officer also has the obligation to be impartial and safeguard the best interests of all the parties to a deed.

In the case where the parties request of the Notary searches (active and passive) to be carried out on the property concerned and any debts it may be burdened with, the Notary orders such searches from the relevant Government Department, and if so requested by the parties the Notary can thus proceed in ascertaining whether or not the seller has a good title on the said property, and whether the same is burdened by debts.

At no time is the Notary to be held responsible for the contents of such search, which are effectively authenticated by the Director of the Public Registry. The Notary bases his thesis of root of title on these official searches which he would have ordered diligently but did not himself personally carry out. The Notary interprets and expounds on the collected information with the diligence of him required by law in order to reach a conclusion on such root of title.

Therefore, a Notary is not responsible for the following:-
  • Missing Information or Notes which do not result from Official Searches
  • Any entry in the public registry which can not be captured by an updated official search at least 21 days prior to a Notarial deed
  • Knowledge about any Cases pending before the Courts or before arbitration boards or tribunals regarding either the property or the parties
  • Any Government registration which result from a registration of property resulting from the Church-State Agreement governed by Chapter 358 of the Laws of Malta and its annexes, not registered in the Land Registry
  • Building permits, irregularities regarding the latter and pending issues with MEPA
  • Requisition Orders and/or expropriation Orders
  • Personal rights on the property such as rents, which don't transpire from the official searches
  • Services and payments pending on the property such as ground rent arrears, water and electricity services rental and consumption, telephone, cable television and any other services.
  • In the case where the property derives from any intestate succession, if there exist other heirs other than those acting or who acted as such.
  • In the case of schedules of deposits and redemptions of ground rent, if the said schedule or redemption was made against the correct persons.