Responsibility of The Contractor for Defects And/Or Variations in Construction Works

Construction WorksThe best advice I can give you before entering into a contract with a construction or renovation company is to call your legal advisor to get a contract drafted between you and the company you have chosen to carry out the work. A professionally drafted contract is your best protection should any problems with the construction works arise.

Whether there are issues with defective material, poor execution of works, deviations from the agreed plan or a request for additional money, a professionally drafted contract in both English and Italian will prevent a lot of problems, reduce stress and often save you a considerable amount of money. Read more

Legal Translations in an Italian Real Estate Transaction

All binding legal documents relating to an Italian real estate transaction must be written in Italian, independent of the nationality of the parties.Real Estate Transaction

Italian legal writing is highly technical, ritualistic and often archaic due to close links with Roman Law.

Ultimately it can appear obscure for people without a solid legal background in Italian law. On top of that, the profound differences between legal systems, more specifically between the English/American system based on Common Law and the Italian one based on Civil Law adds to the confusion. Read more

International Property Sales – applicable law

The legal framework regulating international property sales is set by the Italian Law together with international treaties. International Property Sales

In international property sales, if there there is a conflict between Italian and International laws, Italian law will prevail. Art.51 of the Italian law n. 218 (31st of may 1995) states that a real estate conveyance will be regulated by the law of the place where the property is located.

The Rome Convention binding all EU Member States (19th of June 1980) regulates the applicable law to contractual obligations.

The signatories to a contract may choose applicable law for the whole, or a part only, of a contract and select the court which will have jurisdiction over disputes. By mutual agreement they may change the law applicable to the contract at any time (the principle of freedom of choice). Read more

Insurance Policy for Off-Plan Properties

According to article 4 of the legislative decree 122/2005 the construction company is obliged to deliver to the buyer, at the moment of the transfer ofinsurance policy ownership, an insurance policy as a guarantee for serious construction defects affecting the property. This insurance policy has a cover of 10 years.

A good piece of advice is to request that the Notary Public, who must be involved in the sale, make explicit reference to the insurance policy in the Deed of Sale. Read more

English-Speaking Italian Property Lawyer

How Can An English-Speaking Italian Property Lawyer Advise with The Purchase of A Property in Italy?

I am quite surprised when I hear people say that consulting an English-speaking Italian property lawyer when buying property in Italy is unnecessary, even a waste of money. English-Speaking Italian Property LawyerBuying a home anywhere, including Italy, is probably one of the largest and most significant purchases you will make in your life.

It involves the law of Italian real estate property, which is complex and raises special issues of practice, and problems not present in other transactions and or jurisdictions. An Italian real estate attorney is a trained legal specialist, experienced at dealing with these problems.

Briefly, in the typical Italian home purchase, the buyer enters into a brokerage contract with a real estate agent, usually in writing. Negotiations with the vendor are conducted through the broker, who most often acts as an intermediary. Once an informal agreement is reached, buyer and seller enter into a formal written contract for the sale, the purchase agreement. The buyer pays deposits. Ownership is ascertained, titles, deeds and other due diligence needs to be undertaken. Finally, the property is transferred from the seller to the buyer, and the seller receives the purchase price stipulated in the contract. Read more

Emphyteusis – What You Should Know

EmphyteusisIntroduction

A recent topic of discussion is that of Emphyteusis, a regime which has its roots in Roman Law. It formed part of the feudal system and is connected with the agricultural economy. Farmers were offered the possibility to cultivate land thereby sustaining themselves. In return, farmers paid an annual ground rent or canon in money and or in kind. Read more

Certificate of Habitability (certificato di abitabilità)

What is it for?

The Certificate of Habitability certifies the suitability of a residential property for human habitation. It is issued by the competent municipal offices habitabilityfollowing verification that the building and its systems comply with health, safety and structural stability regulations. According to law, prior to issuing this certificate, the competent authorities should also verify that the building complies with planning permission.

The case law of the Italian Supreme Court is unanimous in stating that in real estate transactions the certificate of habitability is one of the documents that the vendor must deliver to the buyer before completion.  “The vendor of a property intended for residential use has a duty to deliver to the buyer the Certificate of Habitability without which the property is unmarketable”. (Cass. 23 of January 2009, n. 1701). Read more

The Italian Perspective – European Mortgage Credit Directive

European Mortgage Credit DirectiveIn a previous post, I discussed the possibility of non-Italian nationals getting a mortgage to purchase an Italian property. This post provides a brief overview of some of the provisions contained in the European Mortgage Credit Directive (EMCD), which came in to force across all EU Member States in 2016, impacting the Italian mortgage and credit market. Read more

What is a Notary Public? Italian Public Notaries in Property Transactions

Italian Public Notaries in Property Transactions

What is a Notary Public?

Introduction

Time and again we find some confusion about Italian Public Notaries, amongst international clients who buy and sell property in Italy. There is a mistaken belief that the public notary (notaio) performs the same function as a lawyer, solicitor or attorney (avvocato).

Italian Public Notaries

Public notaries grew from the institution of scribes and scriveners. They first became respected for their knowledge of technical matters as public officials in Ancient Rome, where they were often attached to the court. These Notaries prepared and drew up fair copies of deeds and other legal documents, which were endorsed using the seal of the court and thus rendered ‘public acts’. Eventually, Notaries were granted the right to use their own official seals to give their acts public status.

In modern times, acting on behalf of the Italian State, notai are appointed by the Italian Ministry of Justice. Vested with the rights of official authority, which they receive from the Italian State, a document drawn up by a notaio is a guarantee of its legality and authenticity. Read more