Italian property lawyer

Preliminary Contract in Italy. Can I Back Out of It?

You rather rushed into signing a preliminary contract on an Italian property

Now you need to back out of the preliminary contract.

You rushed into signing because you didn’t want to miss out on a great opportunity. It’s long been your dream to own a property in Italy. When you saw this penthouse apartment, you just had to have it.

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In hindsight and after viewing the apartment again, you realise it isn’t as big as you thought. When you first saw the place, you could see the potential to extend into the roof space. However, you now doubt that the municipality will grant permission to convert the space. Besides, you recognise that even if your planning application is accepted, the conversion is going to be prohibitively expensive.

The date for signing the deed of sale is looming. What can you do?

Can you back out of the preliminary contract?

Does the property have a certificate of habitability?

A recent judgment at the Court of Appeal of Milan, stated that if the seller does not deliver a certificate of habitability at the preliminary contract stage, the prospective purchaser may back out of the preliminary contract and, request the return of the deposit.

In other words, there will be no requirement for the prospective purchaser to complete on the sale. In addition, it may also be possible to seek compensation for damages. If, for example, there is proof that the purchaser has incurred expenses or lost out on other property prospects.

Finally …

Never rush into signing any paperwork relating to an Italian property purchase. Always seek independent legal advice before signing anything and, if you’ve already signed a preliminary contract but now want to or need to back out of it, get in touch with us. We have over 55 years expertise in Italian property law.


You may also like to read Preliminary Contracts in Italian Property Purchases.

You may also like to watch our useful info videos.

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