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
– 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.