Real Estate

Italian Property

Your Italian Property

Are you buying a property in Italy?

Do you already have one and are currently having issues with the “condominio” or your neighbours?

You are renovating your property and you came into problems with the contractors?

Do you need to discuss with your bank regarding your mortgage?

Are you having problems with you rented accommodation?

Is your landlord behaving illegitimately?

How can we Help You?

We are able to assist in all property related matters in Italy.

We have wide experience in real estate in Italy and can offer bespoke legal advice and step-by-step assistance in this area, working with both individuals and companies. We are also qualified to defend and represent you in front of all Italian courts.

These are the areas we can help you with.

– Buying a Property

– Selling Your Property

– Mortgages 

– Renting Your Property 

– Renovating Your Property

– Condominius Issues

Below you find some useful information in each of these areas.

Buying a Property in Italy

Buying a property in a foreign country is a major commitment, even more so when it is in a foreign country. Here is some key information you should know about the overall process of purchasing a property in Italy.

After visiting different properties and deciding which of those you wish to buy, you must make a formal offer of purchase (i.e. proposta di acquisto). This offer is what initiates the phase of negotiation. Once the seller accepts the offered price, the agreement is binding. The seller undertakes not to sell the property to anybody else but you for a certain period, which means that until that time you do not lose the opportunity to buy that property and if you change your mind you loose the amount paid as “caparra confirmatoria”.

This second step is not necessary but it is often taken. You exchange the preliminary agreement of purchase (i.e. contratto preliminare di compravendita, also known as “compromesso”). This is a legally binding contract which reports, amongst other things, the agreed sale price, the payment schedule, with all deadlines, the date of purchase completion and any useful information regarding the property itself. A deposit ranging between 10% and 30% of the sale price of the property must be paid upon signing the preliminary agreement of purchase; in the event of the unfulfillment of the contract by either of the parties, the deposit stands as a warranty.

The deed of purchase (i.e. rogito di compravendita) is the final act. Upon signing it, the property is finally transferred from the seller to the buyer. The deed of purchase must be signed by both in front of a Notary Public, who ensures, as an impartial and third party, that the transaction complies with the law. A certified copy is then issued and registered with the Local Land Registry (i.e. Catasto Urbano).

What are the checks that I need to undertake to be protected?

If you want to avoid unpleasant surprises, before signing a binding contract to purchase a property in Italy, we strongly recommend that you undertake the following checks:

– How the property was acquired by the seller in the first place so the act of origin of the property. For example, if the property was gifted to the seller or they received it as an inheritance, it is necessary to undertake further investigations;

– “Visure” or mortgage inspections: you can request these from the real estate register, by using the seller’s personal details, to verify the absence of mortgages, foreclosures, judicial actions or other legal constraints. It is essential that the seller is the only owner of the property;

– The presence of potential foreclosures, judicial actions or other legal constraints;

– The conformity of the property to the urban planning standards.

In the case of buying an apartment within a complex, it is advisable to carry out further investigations:

– Condominium regulations: it is important these are checked because they can contain bans and limits on the use of private parts;

– Latest assembly resolutions: it is possible that there are prejudicial assembly resolutions like judicial litigation;

– Contact the condominium administrator: it is essential to check if the seller is in good standing with the payment of condominium expenses because the buyer who takes over the property becomes jointly and severally liable with the seller. Regarding this last point, it is opportune to highlight an important sentence of the “Corte di Cassazione” (the Italian Supreme Court) n. 10235/2013 with which a distinction is made between ordinary and extraordinary expenses. In particular, the “Corte di Cassazione” ruled that the seller and the buyer are jointly and severally liable for the ordinary expenses for the year in which the sale took place and the previous one; however, with reference to extraordinary expenses, it is only the owner at the time of approval of the works who is obligated to pay.

There are many aspects to check and many risks that should be mitigated during the negotiation phase, so do not hesitate to contact us for any questions or to discuss how we can help you in this process. Our assistance includes detailed checks regarding the documentation and the condition of the property in order to avoid acquiring an asset with unknown risks and issues.


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Selling Your Property in Italy

The process for selling a property in Italy is identical to the one intended to the purchasing of it (see above for your reference): it begins with an offer, it goes on with the preliminary agreement for sale (also known as “compromesso”) and it terminates with the deed of purchase.

However, the issues the seller has to deal with are, of course, different and mirror-like to the ones the buyer has to face.

First of all, the property must be put on the market for sale.

How do I put my Italian property on the market for sale?

In this respect, there are two alternative paths the seller may take:

1 – Through negotiating directly with any interested party;

2 – By entrusting the process to a real estate agency.

One thing not to be underestimated is that it is possible to make a distinction on the activity carried out by the real estate agency. Indeed, the jurisprudence has elaborated the figure of the atypical mediation of the agency’s activity which is characterised by a mandate to sell the property under certain conditions given by the seller to the agency. In this case, the commission is paid only by the seller and not also by the buyer.

We can provide you with legal assistance in both cases.

How do I decide the sale price of the property?

The way to decide the selling price depends on whether you have chosen private negotiations or a real estate agency.

If you have decided to contact a real estate agency, they will provide you with an estimate of the property following an inspection.

On the contrary, if you have chosen to sell the property through private negotiation, you can make an estimate by checking the average price per square meter in the local area, or by seeking the advice of an expert.

What documents do I need to prepare?

However you proceed, once you have found a potential buyer, it is advisable to collect the main documents related to the property which are indispensable during the negotiation process and when deciding the selling price. Those are:

– the act of origin of the property, as mentioned above;

– planimetry and cadastral survey;

– energy certification: this document is mandatory, and it is usually necessary for a professional to obtain it;

– if the property belongs to a complex, the condominium documents: it is essential that these documents show the thousandths (“millesimi”) and the annual expenses;

– a lease of the property, if applicable.

Do not hesitate to contact us to assist with your preparations when preparing for the sale of the property.

Mortgages in Italy

Non-Italian residents are entitled to get a mortgage in Italy. However, most banks have made their policies stricter, therefore, it is important that, when applying for it, you provide documents that prove your financial status and, in particular, your ability to repair the loan. Those are, for instance:

– proof of income, such as payslips and a letter from your employer; if you are self-employed, you should provide your annual audited financials and your tax returns;

– bank statements (including credit cards) relating to all the accounts you hold;

– statements of any assets you may have;

– statements of any outstanding loans you may still be paying back.

It is important that the documents you provide the bank with are the most up to date in order to avoid any delays.

The process intended to obtain a mortgage may vary from a lender to another, but generally, it takes 2-3 months to be completed.

We can assist you throughout the entire procedure, advising you on the best option for you and preparing the documentation needed before you apply. Contact us to receive assistance.

Renting Your Property in Italy

There are different types of rental agreements:

– Transitory contracts, for stays up to 18 months;
– “3+2 contracts”, which lasts for 3 years and may then be renewed for 2 years more;
– “4+4 contracts”, which last for 4 years and may then be renewed for 4 years more.

Should you wish to rent your property in Italy, we can take care of drafting or reviewing tenancy contracts.

We are also able to advise you on the rights of both landlord and tenants.

Renovating Your Property in Italy

Renovating Your Property

Many old properties purchased in Italy need to be restored, renovated and modernised.

Before starting any renovation project, you should:

– obtain an accurate estimate of the workings and the materials needed as well as the related costs;

– check the current laws and regulations about renovation and restoration;

– chose an entrusted builder who can handle the workings.

Sometimes works are not completed to the specifications or are delayed. Contact us for any legal advice or assistance in this respect.

Condominium Issues

“Condominium” means “co-ownership”. Indeed, the condominium is a community of owners whose properties (mostly apartments) are part of a single building; as such, they share common spaces (i.e. gardens, parking areas, walkways, staircases, roof, corridors, supporting walls), which all owners are responsible for, having to contribute to their maintenance.

The condominium is managed by an administrator, whose main duty is to regulate the use of common parts and perform the services needed in the common interest of all owners.

If your property belongs to a condominium, we can provide you with legal assistance regarding the issues you may encounter as a “condomino”.

Contact us to discuss your case.