Rental Contracts in Italy

Italian rental contracts

Renting a property in Italy entails navigating a complex landscape of legal obligations and procedural steps to establish a fair and transparent relationship between landlords and tenants. Consequently, a comprehensive understanding of the Italian rental contract process is indispensable, whether for residential or commercial purposes.

This guide aims to provide a detailed overview of the various types of rental contracts available, their distinct characteristics, essential legal requirements, as well as the rights and responsibilities they entail for both parties. Additionally, it explores effective methods for resolving disputes, ensuring that all aspects of the rental process in Italy are approached with clarity and compliance.

Types of Rental Contracts in Italy

Italy offers several types of rental contracts:

Free Market Contract:

These are the most common type of rental contracts in Italy. They typically last four years with the possibility of automatic renewal for a further four years.

The rent and other contractual terms are freely negotiable between the landlord and tenant.

Agreed Rental Contract:

These contracts last three years with a two-year extension. Homeowners and tenant associations set the rents, often resulting in lower rates than free market contracts.

Transitional Contract: 

These contracts meet short-term rental needs, ranging from 1 to 18 months.
Additionally, they are non-renewable and require a stated reason due to their short-term nature.

Student Tenancy Contract:

These contracts cater specifically to university students and last from six months to three years, aligning with their study schedules.


rental contract

Rental Contracts in Italy: Characteristics

A typical rental contract in Italy should include the following:

1. Parties Involved:
Clearly identifies the landlord and tenant(s) including full personal information.

2. Property Description:
Provides a detailed description of the rental property, including the furniture and accessories.

3. Duration:
Specifies the start and end dates of the rental period and any renewal terms.

4. Rent and Payment Terms:
Agrees on the rent amount, payment frequency (usually monthly), and accepted payment methods.

5. Security Deposit:
Typically, this is equivalent to two months’ rent, held as security against damage or unpaid rent.

6. Maintenance Responsibilities:
Clearly defines maintenance and repair responsibilities, distinguishing between minor and major repairs.

7. Termination Conditions:
Outlines the conditions under which either party may terminate the rental contract, including notice periods and penalties for early termination.

Legal Requirements for Rental Contracts in Italy

Several legal requirements must be met to validate rental contracts in Italy. First, all rental contracts must be in writing and signed by both parties. Additionally, contracts lasting more than 30 days must be registered with the Inland Revenue (Agenzia delle Entrate) within 30 days of signing, with the registration fee typically shared between the landlord and tenant.

Moreover, landlords are obligated to declare rental income and pay applicable taxes, while tenants may benefit from tax deductions on rental payments under specific conditions.

In terms of rights and responsibilities, both landlords and tenants have distinct obligations under Italian law. Landlords must ensure the property is habitable, meeting safety standards, and they must perform major repairs and maintenance. They must also respect the tenant’s right to privacy and peaceful enjoyment of the property.

Tenants, on the other hand, are responsible for paying rent and agreed fees punctually, maintaining the property in good condition, and undertaking minor repairs as needed. It is essential for tenants to comply with the terms of the contract and refrain from using the property for unauthorized purposes. These legal frameworks help establish clear guidelines and promote a harmonious rental relationship in Italy.

rental dispute

Dispute Resolution

Resolving disputes between landlords and tenants regarding Italian rental contracts involves various channels, each tailored to different circumstances and preferences.


Initially, parties can engage in negotiation, where landlords and tenants directly discuss and resolve issues. For example, they might negotiate adjustments to the rent to account for maintenance responsibilities or agree on a revised schedule for property inspections.


Mediation offers a structured approach with the assistance of a neutral third party. This process helps clarify misunderstandings and facilitates compromises that satisfy both parties. An example includes using a mediator to resolve disagreements over the interpretation of lease terms regarding property usage or responsibilities for repairs.

Legal Action

If informal methods fail to yield a resolution, parties can pursue legal action through the local Rent Tribunal. This step becomes necessary when there is a significant disagreement over lease termination conditions or disputes regarding security deposit refunds. The Rent Tribunal serves as a formal venue where both parties can present their cases, and decisions are made based on Italian rental laws and regulations.

These options ensure that disputes are addressed promptly and fairly, thereby promoting a harmonious landlord-tenant relationship and upholding legal standards in the rental process in Italy.

Finally …

We understand that renting a property in Italy can be confusing and involves legal risks. If you plan to rent an Italian property, always seek legal advice beforehand.

With over 55 years of experience in Italian property law, at De Tullio Law Firm we are specialists in negotiating rental contracts, drafting bilingual versions tailored to your needs and facilitating communication between property owners and tenants. Additionally, we offer comprehensive support in managing legal obligations and effectively resolving disputes.

Moreover, if you are considering letting your Italian property, we offer comprehensive services to ensure a secure and smooth process.

If you need further clarification regarding property rental or letting, or wish to discuss your situation, please contact us for a free consultation. We are here to help.

You may also like to read about buy to rent in Italy.

Buying a House in Umbria: A Guide

Are you considering buying a house in Umbria? In this article, we’ll look into the this region of Italy. From its cultural richness to its stunning landscapes, we’ll explore what makes Umbria a true gem. Additionally, we’ll offer valuable insights into its real estate market and guide you through the property acquisition process.

Buying property in Umbria

Buying a House in Umbria: Discovering this Italian Region

Located in the heart of Italy, Umbria exudes enormous charm. Its rolling hills, medieval villages, and vibrant cultural legacy define its allure. Aptly dubbed the “Green Heart of Italy,” with its lush vineyards and olive orchards. In essence, Umbria offers an idyllic retreat for nature lovers and those in search of tranquillity.

Buying a house in UmbriaHistorical cities like Perugia and Assisi abound with artistic and architectural treasures, echoing the region’s rich significance in Italian history. With its clifftop location, Orvieto offers breathtaking panoramic views and is home to a magnificent Gothic cathedral. Gubbio captivates with its impeccably preserved medieval ambiance, labyrinthine cobblestone streets, and a palatial legacy tracing back to the 14th century. Moreover, the delectable local cuisine and vibrant traditional festivals make Umbria an irresistible destination for those seeking to invest in a home in the heart of Italy.

Buying a house in Umbria

However, Umbria’s appeal extends beyond its geography. Its real estate market, with prices averaging lower than in neighboring regions like Tuscany, is enticing investors. Amidst rising tourism and slightly declining property prices, many are opting to invest in Umbria’s real estate market. Renowned tourist destinations like Spoleto, Terni, and Todi further bolster its attractiveness, drawing thousands of visitors annually.

While investing in Umbria for a buy-to-let vacation home, bed & breakfast, or guesthouse can be a profitable venture, the region’s property market and procedures are unique. It’s therefore essential to understand these nuances before signing any paperwork.

Buying a House in Umbria: Legal Compliance

If you’ve come across a property you like in Umbria it’s essential to verify if its present condition aligns with its legal status as documented in the land registry and that it complies with urban planning permits.

Ensuring the continuity of property titles and confirming the absence of third-party rights are also crucial steps. Take the time to thoroughly assess these aspects to ensure everything meets your expectations and requirements.

Be cautious! Despite assurances from the real estate agent or seller, the property may be non-compliant.

Unlike other Italian regions, in Umbria, vendors aren’t obligated to provide buyers with a compliance report. Yet, this document is crucial for ensuring the property’s legal integrity, certifying urban and cadastral compliance. Known as “Relazione di rispondenza edilizia e conformità catastale” in Italian, it should be produced and signed by an authorized individual in the technical department at the local municipality.

Therefore, the risks of buying a non-compliant house are automatically higher in Umbria. It is common for the property’s actual condition, as recorded in the land registry, not to match that approved within urban planning permits.

Due to economic and administrative reasons, work is often carried out without permission in Italy. Identifying lack of permits and defects within a house can be difficult without first conducting a thorough analysis of property-related documentation.

Buyer’s Responsibilities in Umbria

Upon acquiring the property, the buyer assumes financial, civil, and criminal liability for any non-compliances. Obtaining retroactive permission to rectify issues may prove difficult or impractical. Even if it is possible, securing retroactive permissions can be time-consuming and expensive. Additionally, minor compliance issues could hinder obtaining new building permits or engaging in rental activities.

Precautions Regarding Access and Easements

In some cases, access to the desired property may involve traversing a path situated on a neighbor’s land. In such instances, meticulous contract drafting is vital to secure the transfer of rights-of-way. Additionally, parts of the land for sale might be utilized by others. To ensure a secure purchase in Umbria, it’s crucial to identify all access rights and easements to fully comprehend their terms before committing to any agreements.

Seismic Risks in Umbria

Umbria, being in a seismic region of Italy, poses risks like earthquakes and landslides. Before buying property in Umbria, it’s crucial to assess these risks. It’s wise to engage a surveyor for a full geological and structural evaluation of the property to ensure occupant safety.

Finally …

While real estate agents and sellers aren’t obliged to ensure property compliance or provide compliance reports, notaries conduct basic checks. However, by law, the responsibility for legal verification rests with the potential buyer. Conducting due diligence when buying a house in Umbria is crucial to avoid assuming liability for pre-existing defects.

Conducting due diligence can be a complex and time-consuming process, requiring a deep understanding of Italian law and administrative procedures. It’s common practice to enlist the services of a specialized real estate lawyer to manage this task on your behalf. A lawyer will oversee the entire procedure, including verifying documentation (urban, cadastral, zoning, mortgage, energy, habitability, etc.), drafting necessary contracts, handling administrative formalities, and accompanying you to the notary on the day of signing the deed.

The notary, an official of the Italian State is responsible for overseeing property transactions among other duties. By law, notaries must remain impartial in property transactions. They cannot provide legal advice to any of the parties involved. Therefore, a notary cannot substitute a lawyer in representing the buyer’s interests.

Buying a house in Umbria can yield significant rewards, yet it necessitates meticulous attention and adherence to legal protocols. Drawing upon more than 55 years of expertise across Italy, De Tullio Law Firm can guide you through the entire process. Our team of expert lawyers offers tailored advice, guaranteeing a secure and legally compliant investment. Book a free call today to embark on your path to owning a home in the captivating Umbria region.

You may also be interested in our guide to buying property in Puglia.

Property in Umbria

Italian Family Law: A Short Guide

This short guide aims to cover the key elements of Italian family law: for a more in-depth explanation, please read our comprehensive Italian Family Law Guide.

Italian Family Law GuideWhether dealing with marriage, separation, divorce, or child-related issues, you should contact an experienced Italian family law attorney. Their expertise will ensures you protect your rights and handle legal proceedings correctly.

1. Marriage and Civil Partnerships under Italian Family Law

To marry in Italy, both parties must meet specific legal requirements, including age and consent. Registration with civil authorities is necessary for legal recognition of the marriage.

Civil partnerships offer similar legal benefits to marriage and are available to both same-sex and opposite-sex couples. You must register the partnership with civil authorities to formalize the partnership.

2. Divorce and Separation

Divorce begins with the filing of a petition, which must state the grounds for divorce. Common grounds for divorce include irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, or separation for a specified period.

For couples not ready for divorce, a separation agreement outlines terms for living apart, including child custody, support, and property division. This agreement can later become part of divorce proceedings.

3. Child Custody and Support within Italian Family Law

Decisions regarding child custody must be in the best interests of the child, considering factors such as the child’s welfare, parental capabilities, and the child’s wishes, depending on age and maturity.

Both parents are responsible for the financial support of their children. Child support calculations consider the income of both parents, the child’s needs, and custody arrangements.

4. Spousal Support

One spouse may receive spousal support – or alimony – during or after a divorce to maintain their standard of living. The amount and duration depend on factors like the length of the marriage, each spouse’s financial situation, and contributions to the household.

5. Property Division

When it comes to property division, it’s important to understand matrimonial regimes in Italy. Italian family law mandates equitable distribution of property acquired during the marriage. This involves a fair division, considering each spouse’s contributions to the marriage and their economic circumstances.

6. Domestic Violence and Italian Family Law

Victims of domestic violence are entitled to apply for protection orders to prevent further abuse. These orders may include orders prohibiting contact, removal from the family home and being placed in sheltered accommodation.

Legal assistance is provided to help victims navigate the legal system, guaranteeing their safety and upholding their rights under Italian family law.

Finally …

Understanding Italian family law is crucial for navigating personal relationships and legal challenges. Therefore, engaging a solicitor ensures your interests are protected throughout any legal proceedings.

For more detailed information, you can refer to our comprehensive Italian Family Law Guide or contact our firm for a consultation. Additionally, we are here to provide you with the support and guidance needed to handle any family law matter with confidence.

For further information or to schedule a free consultation, please get in touch with us. Our team is dedicated to providing expert legal assistance tailored to your needs.

You may also like to read more about Italian divorce law and EU regulations.

You may also like our info videos.

Italian Property Planning: Salva-Casa Decree

The 2024 Salva-Casa Decree has received official approval by Italy’s Council of Ministers. The decree marks a significant step in simplifying and streamlining Italian property planning and construction regulations.

Salva-CasaItaly faces a significant backlog of over 4 million retroactive planning applications for illegal constructions. In fact, some estimates suggest multiplying this number by at least five when including properties with minor irregularities.

Even small irregularities in Italian property planning can complicate sales and purchases, especially if the buyer needs a mortgage, as banks require properties to be fully compliant. Furthermore, owners of properties with discrepancies can find this adversely affects a property’s resale value and marketability.

Salva-Casa decree therefore offers much-needed relief to homeowners and contributes to the broader goal of urban regeneration. Here’s an overview of what the decree entails, from regularization measures to changes in property use.

Italian Property Planning Changes:

The primary goal of the Salva-Casa decree is to liberate properties from rigid and fragmented regulations that hinder their marketability and, at times, block access to mortgages, subsidies, and grants.

The decree focuses on addressing less severe Italian property planning cases. In effect, targeting minor discrepancies rather than offering a broad planning amnesty, as has occasionally happened in the past.

Specifically, the decree addresses:

Formal Planning Issues:

Formal planning issues stem from interpretative uncertainties in current regulations regarding property legitimacy. These ambiguities complicate assessing compliance with urban planning standards, leading to prolonged bureaucratic procedures for property development or regularization. Clearer guidance through regulatory adjustments is needed to address these challenges efficiently.

Building Discrepancies:

Often resulting from unauthorized interventions by former owners over time.

Partial Discrepancies:

Issues that could have been resolved when they first arose but cannot be addressed now due to the “double conformity” requirement.

“Double conformity” is a rule in Italian building regulations (Article 31 of Legislative Decree No. 380/2001) that demands properties comply with both the building codes in force at the time of their construction or modification and the current building codes at the time of regularization or amnesty. This requirement often complicates the legalization of minor irregularities because changes in building codes over time can make it difficult or impossible to satisfy both sets of standards. Salva-Casa seeks to simplify this process by mitigating some of these strict requirements.


Under the decree, the following are considered free constructions:

  • Removable Panoramic Glass Windows (VePA), including those for porches within the building.
  • Sun and Weather Protection Structures, where the main component is awnings, including pergolas attached to or adjacent to buildings, as long as they do not create permanently enclosed spaces and are not visually disruptive.

Change of Use

The decree simplifies the process for changing the use of properties, ensuring compliance with sector regulations and municipal conditions.

  • Permits the change of use within the same functional category.
  • Allows changes of use between different functional categories for residential, tourist accommodation, productive, directional, and commercial purposes within specific zones such as historic centers, consolidated residential areas, and expanding residential areas.
  • Excludes units on the first floor above ground from these simplifications.

Given the exclusion, these units could potentially face stricter regulations or more complex procedures compared to others. This could make compliance with building and urban regulations more challenging and affect their access to credit and property market value.

Silent Consent in Italian Property Planning

The Salva Casa decree also introduces a silent consent regime, a significant step towards procedural simplification. This means if the municipality does not respond within the stipulated time, an application is automatically accepted.

Additionally, the decree allows for the installation of awnings and weather protection structures under free construction rules.

This regulation aims to decongest municipal technical offices overwhelmed by thousands of applications. It includes fines proportional to the increase in property value, which can be partially used for urban recovery and regeneration projects.

Costs and Penalties

Within the framework of the 2024 Salva-Casa Decree, property owners undertaking regularization face financial implications and potential penalties. Costs for regularization expenses depend on the extent of irregularities. They range from around 1,000 to 31,000 euros.

In addition, the decree mandates financial penalties commensurate with the increase in property value resulting from regularization efforts. These penalties are equivalent to double the assessed increase in property value. For instance, the regularization of structures such as verandas or additional rooms may incur fines reaching the maximum threshold of 30,984 euros.

Prior to commencing the regularization process, property owners should seek professional advice to evaluate financial consequences and potential penalties associated with compliance under the Salva-Casa Decree.

Finally …

Understanding Italian property planning legislative changes is crucial for expatriates considering property investments, renovations or selling in Italy. Before proceeding with your Italian property project, reach out to us for assistance.

At De Tullio Law Firm, we offer personalized advice and support. With over 55 years of experience handling clients’ Italian and cross-border property, residency, family, and inheritance matters, we are right beside you.

Book a FREE CONSULTATION with one of our lawyers here.


How to Buy a House in Italy: Legal Tips

Buying a house in Italy?

In this article, we explore the step-by-step process of buying Italian property.

From picturesque villas to seaside retreats, discover essential legal tips and insights for a safe property purchase.

Real Estate Options Across Italy

Whether you’re in the market for an apartment or a villa in prime neighborhoods of Rome, Milan, Florence, Venice, and Naples, or hidden real estate treasures in Sardinia, Tuscany, or along the scenic Amalfi Coast, Italy offers options for everyone.

Italy’s lake regions, including Lake Maggiore, Lake Como and Lake Garda boast breathtaking properties. Alternatively, explore seaside retreats in Calabria, Sicily, Liguria on the Riviera di Ponente, Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda, or coastal havens in Campania, Capri, and Ischia. In addition, there’s a wealth of beauty waiting to be discovered in smaller, lesser-known villages and small towns throughout the country.

Recent government efforts have focused on attracting foreign investment to boost the Italian property market. A range of incentives is available, such as tax breaks for first-time homebuyers and subsidies for renovation projects.

Understanding the Process of Buying a House in Italy

The process of buying a house in Italy is substantially different from many countries. To navigate it successfully, it’s essential to grasp the three main stages of the purchase process:

1. Reservation Offer: The potential buyer formalizes their intention to buy the property.
2. Preliminary Sales Agreement: The parties agree on the details of the various terms of the transaction.
3. Final Deed of Sale:  Completion of the transaction, transferring ownership from the previous owner to the new owner.

Buying a House in Italy: The Reservation Offer (or “Proposta di Acquisto”)

When a buyer identifies a property they’re interested in purchasing, the initial step involves submitting a reservation offer. This offer serves to communicate the buyer’s desire to acquire the property under predetermined conditions from the vendor. This initial action holds significant importance; upon acceptance, the offer transforms into a legally binding contract, compelling both parties to fulfill obligations in order to finalize the transaction.

Conformity and Controls in Italy

In Italy, there is no legal requirement for real estate agents to verify the legal compliance of the properties they represent. Moreover, their incentive structure may discourage full disclosure of property details to buyers, as their commission often hinges on transaction completion.

Likewise, Italian notaries typically don’t perform comprehensive urban planning and land registry conformity checks. They primarily depend on information provided by the seller.

From a legal standpoint, the responsibility falls on the potential buyer to conduct all necessary legal due diligence when buying a property in Italy.

Due Diligence: Preliminary Verification and Documentation

Prior to submitting a reservation offer, it’s imperative to conduct preliminary due diligence by examining pertinent documentation and accessing various real estate records. This process enables the potential buyer to evaluate the property’s compliance with land registry, zoning, and planning regulations. Additionally, it’s crucial to ensure the absence of mortgages, debts, or outstanding charges on the property. Simultaneously, buyers should verify that property systems, such as electrical and photovoltaic systems, comply with regulations. Additionally, they should anticipate any tax implications associated with the acquisition.

Drafting the Reservation Offer

Following preliminary due diligence findings, the prospective buyer can submit a formal reservation offer, which should be tailored to comprehensively safeguard their interests.

Many real estate agencies may suggest using a pre-printed reservation offer form. However, these generic templates often fall short in ensuring full protection for the buyer. They typically fail to accurately represent the property’s specifics such as planning and construction permits, existing mortgages, absence of a habitability certificate, energy efficiency or any third-party rights.

Moreover, they do not address the buyer’s individual circumstances such as financing arrangement needs, timelines for formalities, tax implications, and other pertinent factors related to the purchase.

If a buyer fails to include relevant conditions in the reservation offer, it will not be possible to add these to the preliminary contract in the next phase of the purchase process.

Consulting a Lawyer when Buying a House in Italy

While not mandatory, it’s commonplace for buyers to engage a lawyer’s services when buying a house in Italy.

  • The lawyer undertakes thorough due diligence to facilitate the acquisition on behalf of their client, optimizing tax and financial considerations.
  • They handle administrative procedures, including obtaining an Italian tax code.
  • After conducting due diligence, the lawyer negotiates on the buyer’s behalf, advocating for adjustments to the reservation offer terms to protect their interests.
  • They customize the reservation offer based on findings, ensuring inclusion of necessary clauses, such as addressing planning issues or mortgage cancellation.

Typically, the reservation offer is drafted bilingually (in Italian and the buyer’s language) to provide clarity on legal implications for all parties involved.

Consequences of Acceptance

Upon the vendor’s acceptance of the reservation offer, two significant outcomes unfold:

  1. the buyer pays a deposit to the seller, and
  2. the seller removes the property from the real estate market, typically for a 15-day period.

When signing the reservation offer, the purchaser remits a deposit to the vendor, which, upon finalizing the purchase, becomes partial payment of the total price. However, if the vendor declines the reservation offer, the buyer pays no deposit.

In many countries, payments like deposits, installments, or balances are commonly held in escrow. However, in Italy, such payments are directly transferred to the vendor’s bank account. This arrangement carries implications and risks for the potential buyer. If one of the parties to the transaction fails to meet conditions in the reservation offer or if either party withdraws from the transaction before the final deed of sale, the potential buyer may encounter challenges in reclaiming the deposit.

To protect this and later deposits in the event of any contingencies or disputes, notaries in Italy have the option to hold deposits in escrow or holding accounts. However, the use of such an account must be expressly stipulated as a condition in the reservation offer.

Real Estate Agency Commission

In contrast to many countries where the real estate agent’s commission is payable upon completion, Italian law mandates commission payment upon signing the reservation offer, unless explicitly stated otherwise in the reservation offer.

Buying a House in Italy: The Preliminary Sales Agreement (or “Contratto Preliminare di Compravendita”)

The contratto preliminare di vendita holds significant legal importance as it delineates the detailed terms and conditions of the sale. The buyer must carry forward terms and conditions established in the reservation offer to the preliminary contract. Additionally, the preliminary contract forms the basis for the notary public to draw up the deed of sale in the final phase of the purchase process.

Engaging Legal Assistance

Again, the estate agent may provide a standard preliminary contract. This may lack conditions relating to the buyer’s personal situation. It could ultimately result in financial loss through inability to complete the purchase or acquiring a property needing costly remedial work. Therefore, it is highly advisable for the buyer to engage the services of a lawyer to draft the preliminary contract, ensuring all details are in their best interests.

Validity of Contract Conditions

While it may be tempting to modify an existing template to cover various situations, it is crucial to note that Italian law only considers specific types of conditions as valid. Conditions that solely benefit one party, known as potestative conditions, are invalid under Italian law. For instance, a condition allowing the buyer to unilaterally terminate the agreement if the property doesn’t meet their expectations is not acceptable. However, conditions affecting both parties, such as the buyer’s ability to secure a mortgage, are valid.

Legal Implications and Deposit

If the vendor’s legal advisor drafts the preliminary contract, it’s essential that the buyer to has their own lawyer examine it. The lawyer can provide detailed advice on the legal implications before signing.

An essential legal element of the preliminary contract is the payment of a second deposit (“caparra confirmatoria”), typically at least 10% of the purchase price.

The buyer will lose their deposit if they back out of the purchase without a valid legal reason stipulated in the preliminary contract. However, if the vendor withdraws from the sale, the deposit must be refunded in full, with the buyer also having the right to pursue a claim for double the amount of the deposit through the Italian courts.

Role of the Notary and Buyer’s Legal Safeguards

In the preliminary contract, the parties also designate the date for finalizing the sale in the presence of a public notary, an official of the Italian State responsible for overseeing property transactions among other duties.

By law, notaries must remain impartial in property transactions. They cannot provide legal advice to any of the parties involved. Therefore, a notary cannot substitute a lawyer in representing the buyer’s interests, highlighting the importance of engaging an independent lawyer to ensure legal safeguards.

The notary conducts basic checks including confirming each party’s rights to buy or sell the property, conducting land registry searches for any claims or mortgages, and verifying planning permission.

Since buyers have already paid a substantial deposit before notarial checks occur, it is essential to ensure that all aspects are clear. Before committing to the preliminary contract, ensure that it includes protective conditions should issues arise during the notary’s checks.

Buying a House in Italy: The Deed of Sale (or “Rogito Notarile”)

The last step in the process of buying a house in Italy consists of completing the final deed of sale in front of a notary. The public notary usually conducts the signing of the deed of sale at their office. They read aloud and explain the Italian version of the deed in the presence of the vendor, buyer, and/or their legal representatives.

If a party to the transaction is unable to be present at the signing, they can grant power of attorney to a lawyer to represent them.

Parties to the transaction have the opportunity to read and check the deed to ensure accuracy. Having a bilingual lawyer present allows the buyer immediately address any questions or concerns.

Once all relevant parties have signed the deed, the buyer pays the balance of the purchase price to the vendor and receives the keys to the property.

It takes approximately one month, following the signing of the deed of sale, for the relevant land registry office to register the deeds of new ownership. Following  registration, the new owners receive a copy of the title deeds. If not present in Italy when the title deeds become available, the lawyer can collect them on behalf of the buyer and send them on or hold them in safekeeping.

Choice of Notary: A Privilege of the Buyer

Italian law grants the buyer the privilege of choosing the notary to establish the deed. It is advisable to avoid following the recommendations of the real estate agent or the seller on this point to prevent any conflict of interest. Opting for a notary recommended by your lawyer guarantees their level of independence and impartiality.

Interpreter and Bilingual Lawyer

Italian law mandates that any foreign buyer not fluent in Italian must obtain the assistance of an interpreter at the time of signing the deed of sale. Engaging a bilingual lawyer is thus an economical solution as they can act both as a legal advisor and an interpreter.

Finally …

Before purchasing a house in Italy, it’s essential to engage a local lawyer with expertise in property matters. You should personally select your own rather than relying on recommendations from the estate agent or vendor.

Choose a lawyer who is proficient in your language to ensure not only legal guidance but also translation services. Your lawyer should also be capable of recommending surveyors, builders, and other professional services as needed.

Additionally, you may wish to give your lawyer power of attorney in case you are unable to be present in Italy for the completion of the purchase. Entrusting this responsibility to someone with potentially conflicting interests, such as an estate agent or a friend, can pose significant risks.

Before proceeding with your property investment in Italy, consider reaching out to us for assistance. At De Tullio Law Firm, we offer comprehensive advice and support throughout your Italian property purchasing journey. With over 55 years of experience handling clients’ Italian and cross-border property, family, and inheritance matters, we are well-equipped to guide you.

Book a FREE CONSULTATION with one of our lawyers here.

Green Homes Directive Approved

The European Parliament recently approved the green homes directive. This marks a significant step forward in environmental sustainability within the real estate sector. It is applicable across all EU member states. The directive, aimed at reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions, sets ambitious goals and regulations for the future. Approval of the green homes directive positions Europe as a leader in the global fight against climate change.

Green Homes Directive Approval and Implications

In a plenary session held in Strasbourg, Eurodeputies resoundingly backed the legislation negotiated with Council counterparts. This means there is now a unified approach to addressing Europe’s environmental challenges in the real estate sector. With resounding support, this approval signals a transformative shift towards sustainable development. Furthermore, the directive’s approval has far-reaching implications, not only for the European Union but also for global efforts to combat climate change. By endorsing this directive, the EU Parliament has clearly demonstrated its commitment to implementing proactive measures to mitigate the environmental impact of the real estate sector, which is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.

Achieving Milestones

The green homes directive outlines objectives, thereby establishing a clear roadmap towards enhancing energy standards. By 2030, all new residential constructions must achieve zero emissions, while public buildings are mandated to follow suit by 2028. Moreover, this directive sets the stage for achieving carbon neutrality in the entire building stock by 2050. These temporary objectives represent crucial milestones in the journey towards a greener future, serving as guideposts for member states to align their policies and practices. By setting specific targets, the directive not only incentivizes innovation and investment in sustainable building practices but also drives economic growth and job creation in the green economy.

Championing Sustainability

The green homes directive represents a crucial step towards sustainable living, thereby ensuring improved standards of living for all. Additionally, Commissioner Kadri Simson emphasizes the pivotal role of buildings in energy consumption, thereby stressing the need for comprehensive solutions to tackle environmental challenges head-on. Furthermore, the acknowledgment of progress made by key stakeholders underscores the collective commitment to addressing environmental issues and advancing sustainability. By recognizing the importance of the real estate sector in achieving climate goals, policymakers and industry leaders demonstrate their readiness to embrace change and implement innovative solutions.

Understanding the Provisions of the Green Homes Directive

The directive, initially proposed by the Commission in December 2021, underwent significant revisions to address member states’ concerns. Notably, it shifts focus from individual building requirements to national averages, thereby fostering flexibility while maintaining progress towards environmental objectives. Additionally, the directive provides a comprehensive framework for member states to develop and implement policies that promote energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions in the built environment. By harmonizing regulations and standards across the EU, the directive facilitates collaboration and knowledge-sharing among member states, thereby driving collective action towards a common goal.

Balancing Act: Exemptions and Incentives in the Green Homes Directive

The directive provides exemptions for historical and agricultural buildings.  This therefore means that member states can define energy performance standards and renovation priorities. Moreover, financial incentives for renewable energy systems underscore the directive’s commitment to promoting sustainable practices and facilitating a smoother transition towards greener infrastructure. Additionally, these exemptions and incentives strike a delicate balance between environmental objectives and economic considerations, recognizing the need to support industries and communities affected by the transition to a low-carbon economy. Furthermore, by incentivizing investment in renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies, the directive encourages innovation and stimulates growth in green industries.

Finally …

With approval of the green homes directive, Europe stands poised to lead the way in sustainable real estate development. As implementation begins, stakeholders must seize the chance to shape a greener future. They should be guided by innovation and environmental stewardship principles.

De Tullio Law Firm is your reliable reference if you own or plan to invest in Italian property. We can guide you in understanding the challenges of the real estate market and compliance with regulations.

With our support, you can invest in the Italian real estate market with confidence and security. Get in touch with us.

You may also be interested in our article about building a house in Italy.

You may also like to watch our info videos about Italian property, inheritance and family law.


Italian First Home Benefits for Expatriates

Law No. 103 of 10.08.2023, coupled with amendments to DL No. 69/2023, has ushered in significant changes to Italian first-home benefits for expatriates. This pivotal legislation not only addresses an infringement procedure initiated by the European Commission against Italy but also introduces key enhancements to the first home benefits regime.

The Innovation Introduced by DL No. 69/2023

DL No. 69/2023 addresses a critical issue flagged by the European Commission concerning first home benefits for expatriates. This decree, aptly named “Salva infrazioni” (Save Infractions), rectifies discrepancies in the application of reduced property taxes for expatriates. Now, expatriates who have resided or worked in Italy for at least five years and are transferred abroad for work reasons can enjoy reduced property tax rates when purchasing a property in Italy.

Understanding Italian First Home Benefits

Italian first-home benefits encompass a range of advantages aimed at facilitating property acquisition for expatriates. These benefits include reduced tax rates, fixed tax amounts, and VAT reductions, making property ownership in Italy more accessible and affordable.

Reduced Tax Rates: Expatriates can benefit from lower registration tax rates, alleviating the financial burden of property acquisition. Under the first home benefits scheme, taxes payable when buying property in Italy include:

For purchases from private individuals or VAT-exempt companies:

– Proportional registration tax at a rate of 2% (instead of 9%)

– Fixed mortgage tax of 50 euros

– Fixed cadastral tax of 50 euros

For purchases from companies subject to VAT:

– Reduced VAT at 4%

– Registration tax of 200 euros

– Mortgage tax of 200 euros

– Land registry tax of 200 euros

These reduced tax rates and fixed tax amounts provide transparency and predictability in property transaction costs, enhancing the appeal of property ownership in Italy for expatriates.

Eligibility Criteria for Italian First Home Benefits

To qualify for Italian first home benefits, expatriates must meet stringent eligibility criteria. These criteria include sole ownership of the property, compliance with municipal constraints, meeting residency prerequisites, and adhering to specific property categorization requirements. Moreover, only properties falling under designated cadastral categories, such as A/2, A/3, A/4, A/5, A/7, and A/11, are eligible for the benefit.

Evolution of Legislation for Italian First Home Benefits

Previous legislation provided exceptions for expatriates, particularly those relocating abroad for work. However, DL No. 69/2023 introduces a refined framework, emphasizing stricter residency and property location criteria. These changes ensure that benefits are directed towards individuals with substantial ties to Italy.

Rectification Procedures and Self-Certification

In cases where applicants fail to declare their residency status abroad at the time of purchase, rectification procedures exist. Italian citizens residing abroad can rectify their status through self-certification, as clarified by the Revenue Agency. This ensures compliance with residency prerequisites and maintains continuity in benefit entitlement.

Changes Introduced by DL No. 69/2023

DL No. 69/2023 introduces a new discipline regarding first home benefits for expatriates. This decree stipulates that individuals who transfer abroad for work reasons must have resided or carried out an activity in Italy for at least five years prior. Additionally, the property must be located in the municipality of birth or where they previously resided or conducted business.

Finally …

Understanding these legislative changes is crucial for expatriates considering property investments in Italy. With over five decades of experience, De Tullio Law Firm has been consistently delivering expert legal advice to international clients. Moreover, while we offer comprehensive legal services across all domains of Italian law, our particular emphasis is on real estate, residency, family law, and inheritance matters.

We take immense pride in providing personalized legal services to our clients. Additionally, we have a strong reputation for delivering pragmatic and efficient solutions. If you are exploring investment opportunities in Italian real estate, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We are right beside you, guiding you every step of the way.


You may also be seeking information about how to obtain an Elective Residence Visa for Italy or you might like to peruse our series of informational videos.


2024 Italian Real Estate Trends

As we usher in spring, 2024 Italian real estate trends are subtly complex, painted predominantly in shades of gray. The outlook for the Italian residential housing market spans from relative stability to a slight downturn. However, uncertainties cast a shadow, intertwined with the fluctuating cost of borrowing, as highlighted in a survey by the Corriere della Sera.

The Gray Dominance: Unveiling 2024 Italian Real Estate Trends

Gray, as the dominant color in the residential market of 2024, sets the stage for a year of potential shifts. While some anticipate stability, others predict a gentle downturn. The pivotal factor here is the trajectory of the cost of money, introducing an element of unpredictability. If interest rates decrease, the consensus is not an immediate surge in sales, but rather a certainty that both sales and prices will respond if the cost of money remains static or banks tighten credit access.

Scenari Immobiliari’s Perspective

For a comprehensive understanding, Corriere della Sera sought insights from renowned real estate research firms. Scenari Immobiliari’s President, Mario Breglia, characterizes 2024 as a “year of transition.” He points out that while inflation is decreasing and economic uncertainty is subsiding, shadows persist due to the potential decline in mortgage demand amid reduced incomes. Breglia suggests that families, in response, might choose to defer property purchases until economic conditions improve.

Nomisma’s Analysis

Nomisma’s three-year forecast paints a cautious picture. While a slight recovery in property transactions is projected for 2026, 2024 could witness a substantial decline of 8.8%. The institute’s CEO, Luca Dondi, emphasizes the significance of credit access and the potential impact of a more expansive ECB policy in the coming months.

Market Trends and Predictions for 2024 Italian Real Estate

As we delve deeper into projections, a nuanced narrative unfolds. Nomisma foresees a 17.4% decrease in mortgage disbursements for 2024, coupled with a 6.8% decline in the following year. Price variations in large cities are expected to hover around +0.6%, with Milan leading at +1.4%, and the capital, Rome, at +0.6%. Despite these figures, the overall market sentiment remains cautious, with optimism tentatively deferred to 2025.

The Role of Financing in 2024 Italian Real Estate Trends:’s Perspective injects a note of optimism, particularly in the financing realm. Alessio Santarelli, the platform’s DG, highlights the divergence between the ECB and the Fed’s approaches to interest rates. He suggests that this prolonged discrepancy may become untenable. However, Santarelli points to the potential for optimism, as Euribor futures indicate a decrease in variable-rate mortgages by approximately 170 basis points by year-end, potentially revitalizing the market for young buyers and those seeking larger homes.

Interpreting the Market Dynamics: Gabetti’s Take on 2024 Italian Real Estate Trends

Gabetti’s CEO, Roberto Busso, envisions a more favorable financial leverage perspective if inflation continues to decline. Nevertheless, he underscores the importance of understanding the evolving demand for a new housing model. Furthermore, Busso suggests that this model may not necessarily involve property ownership, signaling potential shifts in housing preferences.

Considering Societal Changes: Fiaip’s Perspective on 2024 Italian Real Estate Trends

Francesco La Commare, head of the Fiaip study office, highlights the evolving dynamics spurred by diminishing job security. Consequently, this shift has resulted in increased mobility and a growing demand for rentals outside major cities. Importantly, he emphasizes the crucial need for legislative responses to ensure secure leasing options for property owners in this changing landscape.

Forecasting Rental Trends: Tecnocasa’s Insights on 2024 Italian Real Estate Trends

Tecnocasa’s Fabiana Megliola anticipates a growth in rentals due to strong demand. However, she points out that the lack of supply, coupled with a resurgence in short-term rentals, may lead to an unsustainable increase in rents. The future trajectory, she suggests, depends on economic evolution, projected weak growth, inflation trends, and the confidence of businesses and consumers.

Finally …

In a market characterized by uncertainty, navigating the complexities of Italian real estate in 2024 requires careful consideration. If you’re contemplating property acquisition in Italy this year, consider consulting with De Tullio Law Firm. As experts in legal matters related to Italian property, we are right beside you to guide you through the intricacies, ensuring a safe, smooth and informed decision-making process. Get in touch with us for a free preliminary call.

Italian Golden Visa: Unlocking Opportunities

Dreaming of a life in Italy? The Italian Investor Visa, also known as the Golden Visa is an interesting solution for non-EU citizens who choose to invest in strategic assets that benefit Italian economy and society.

In this blog post we explore eligibility, investment options, and the application process. To discuss your situation and eligibility, get in touch for a free consultation.

What is the Italian Golden Visa?

The 2017 Budget Law introduced the Italian Golden Visa. It allows foreign investors residency in Italy for 2-5 years as well as travel within Schengen countries. This initiative bolsters Italy’s economy and visa system, offering a gateway to long-term investments.

Requirements for the Golden Visa in Italy

To apply, non-EU citizens must:

– Be 18+ or a legal entity’s representative.
– Meet investment thresholds.
– Provide an Anti-Money Laundering Declaration.
– Demonstrate financial stability.

Eligibility of Family Members

Family members can obtain visas and residence permits, fostering family reunification or cohesion.

Types of Golden Visa Investments

Options include government securities, company shares, or philanthropic donations, each with specific investment criteria.

Italian law outlines the eligible investment options for the investor visa application as follows:

Securities issued by the Italian government: Requires a minimum investment of €2,000,000.00, which must be held for at least 2 years.
Stocks or shares of an existing capital company operating in Italy: Involves a minimum investment of €500,000.00, to be held for at least 2 years. However, if investing in an existing innovative Italian startup, the amount is reduced to €250,000.00.
Philanthropic donation to an Italian non-profit organization: Supporting public interest projects in sectors such as culture, research, migration management, or restoration of natural/artistic resources requires a donation of at least €1,000,000.00.

– The applicant must demonstrate ownership and be the beneficial owner of at least €2,000,000.00 (in the case of securities) or €1,000,000.00 (for shares/stocks or philanthropic donations), which must be available and transferable to Italy.
– A written declaration committing to using the funds for eligible investments or donations within three months of entry into Italy is required.
– Sufficient resources, beyond the investment funds, must be demonstrated to cover the applicant’s living expenses during their stay in Italy, exceeding the minimum level for exemption from healthcare expenditure as per the law.

Anti-Money Laundering Declaration

Only single investments are permitted, with funds verified for legitimate origins.

Transferring Funds and Nationality Considerations

Transferring funds to Italian banks may ease the application process. Nationality doesn’t directly affect eligibility, but origins of funds may trigger scrutiny.

Additional Considerations and Investment Types

Ensure compliance with Italian law when choosing investments, whether in companies or bonds.

How to Obtain the Golden Visa in Italy

The Investor Visa falls outside the annual entry quotas set by the Italian Government, allowing applications at any time without quota restrictions.

The initial step involves applying for a Nulla Osta, available through the Ministry of Economic Development’s online portal. The application requires submission of:

– Personal details
– Passport copy
– Applicant’s CV
– Investment type indication
– Evidence of investment ownership
– Clean criminal record confirmation
– Investment description and recipient consent attestation

Following a preliminary review by the Committee’s Secretariat, the application undergoes evaluation, with the Committee typically issuing the Nulla Osta within thirty days.

Subsequently, applicants have six months to visit an Italian diplomatic mission in their home country to finalize the investor visa application. Entry into Italy is permissible within two years of visa issuance.

The investor visa grants a two-year validity period in Italy. Upon arrival, applicants must apply for a residence permit for investors at the Questura within eight days. This permit remains valid for two years from the date of entry into Italy.

Issuance and Maintenance of Residence Permit

Investors must fulfill investment commitments and maintain original investments for permit validity. Renewals and citizenship opportunities follow.

Incentives for Investments in Italy

Tax incentives and work permit options enhance the allure of Italian residency for investors and their families.

Special Italian Tax Regimes

Impatriates Regime

Designed for employees and self-employed individuals relocating their tax residency to Italy for work. Income from dependent work or self-employment in Italy is taxed at 30% for 5 years, or 10% in Southern Italy. The regime can extend for 5 more years under specific conditions, with 50% of income taxable during this period.

New Tax Regime for Resident Pensioners

Non-resident pensioners in Italy receiving foreign pensions can opt for a 7% flat tax on foreign source income if they meet certain criteria and reside in qualifying municipalities.

Special Tax Regime for High Net Worth Individuals

Available to those not tax residents in Italy for 9 out of 10 years preceding their transfer. Exempts them from applying a substitute tax to foreign income.

Italian Tax Incentives for Foreign Professors and Researchers

Offers a 90% reduction in taxable income for researchers and professors, with durations of 8, 11, or 13 years, contingent upon residency in Italy.

Finally …

To navigate the complexities of the Italian Golden Visa, expert legal counsel is essential. With over five decades of experience, De Tullio Law Firm is your trusted partner, offering personalized advice to international investors. Specializing in real estate, residency, family law, and inheritance matters, we ensure pragmatic solutions tailored to your needs. If you’re considering investment in Italian real estate, contact us today. We’re dedicated to guiding you through every step of the process with confidence and clarity.

Certificate of Legitimate Status

Italy’s real estate landscape has seen significant changes with the implementation of Law 120/2020, known as the Simplification Decree. This decree aims to streamline and simplify building procedures for public administration and reduce complexities for citizens and businesses. One notable aspect is the introduction of the Certificate of Legitimate Status, a crucial document impacting property transactions.

Understanding Tolerances in Building Regulations

The Simplification Decree integrates into the Unified Building Text DPR 380/01, specifically article 34/bis c.3. This section introduces executive tolerances, deviations from building regulations not exceeding 2%, as declared by qualified technicians. These tolerances, highlighted in paragraphs 1 and 2, aim to certify the legitimate state of properties during new applications, communications, and building notifications.

Real-life Example

To illustrate these tolerances, consider a common scenario during real estate due diligence check-ups. Parties involved, such as sellers or real estate agencies, may misinterpret the provision. For instance, an authorised 100-square-metre apartment may be measured on-site as 102 square metres due to construction adjustments. For example the  balcony may have been enclosed. While a 2% excess is permissible, intentional extensions without authorization fall outside this tolerance, necessitating restoration to original measurements.

The legislator’s intent behind these tolerances is to alleviate the workload on public administrations and reduce burdens on property owners for posthumous regularisation of minor building abuses. The criteria for non-conformity include meeting specified cases, absence of protection constraints, and no violation of urban planning or building regulations, ensuring the habitability of the property.

In cases where no building non-conformity exists, and authorization projects are unnecessary, the legislator introduces the “Certificate of Legitimate Status.” This document holds formal value, applicable for regulating real estate transactions, where a seller’s declaration of urban regularity is required.

The Role of the Certificate of Legitimate Status

To guarantee compliance and facilitate the signing of sales contracts, compliance with the land registry and urban regularity by the selling party must be declared. Alternatively, a qualified technician can swear both statements after ensuring compliance with urban and cadastral documentation.

While the Certificate of Legitimate Status is not essential for signing, it acts as an optional but crucial document. Often, sellers lack sufficient training in urban planning, making the document valuable for ensuring a balanced agreement between parties.

Challenges in Property Transactions

Many property transactions still rely on ambiguous urban declarations made by the selling party “before 67.” This legislative loophole, allowing marketability without full urban regularity guarantees, can lead to economic and legal repercussions even after signing.

The dissemination of the Certificate of Legitimate Status as a technical document is a positive step, providing an absolute guarantee and expediting real estate negotiations. Buyers are increasingly considering it essential for a smoother transition to the notarial deed.

For enhanced certainty, buyers can engage a technician to draft a conformity report. This report provides a guarantee and reassurance regarding the property purchase, further securing the deal.

Certificate of Legitimate Status: Verification by Qualified Technicians

The legitimate status of a property is determined by the enabling title that legitimised its construction and the last building intervention affecting the entire property. For older properties without a mandatory building permit, cadastral information or other probative documents determine legitimate status.

The affidavit, sworn by the appointed technician, serves as a legally certain basis for accessing tax deductions such as the 110% Superbonus or the Furniture Bonus. However, these deductions are not applicable to wholly or partially abusive properties.

Finally …

The Simplification Decree and the introduction of the Certificate of Legitimate Status have reshaped Italy’s property regulations. Buyers and sellers must navigate these changes with caution to ensure secure and transparent real estate transactions. For those seeking support in understanding and complying with these regulations, the team at De Tullio Law Firm, specialized in Italian property and inheritance matters, is happy to support you. Get in touch with us.