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Italian Property Law: Personalise Your Preliminary Contract with Conditions

Should you use a one size fits all preliminary contract for your Italian property purchase?

Preliminary Contracts in Italian Property Purchases

Before you sign a preliminary contract for an Italian property purchase, it is crucial to think about your personal situation. For example, is your purchase contingent on getting a mortgage or do you need to sell another property in order to complete this purchase? If your purchase is subject to certain circumstances, you should personalise your preliminary contract by adding conditions precedent.

Italian estate agents often use a standard preliminary contract template. This type of one size fits all preliminary contract may not be appropriate for your situation.

In fact, generally speaking, this type of standard preliminary contract may expose you to legal risks and financial penalties. In a worst-case scenario, you may end up in court.

Tailor the preliminary contract to fit your specific needs by adding conditions precedent

Conditions precedent protect all parties when buying and selling property in Italy. However, to provide protection, conditional clauses must actually be written into the preliminary contract in order for them to be legally binding.

During the due diligence process, if you find you are unable to meet the conditions precedent in the preliminary contract, you may withdraw from the purchase process. Examples of conditions precedent include:

  • a property purchase being contingent on the buyer obtaining approval for a mortgage
  • a buyer needing to complete the sale of another property to free up funds for the deal to proceed
  • a buyer agreeing to purchase a property if it passes a property inspection and/or survey
  • an offer hinging on approval from the local authorities for zoning and building permits for improvements such as changing the internal layout, an extension or installing a swimming pool.

What sort of conditions are valid in an Italian preliminary contract ?

Any condition precedent must be objective and cannot depend exclusively on the will of one of the involved parties.

According to Italian law, a condition is null and void if it is considered as merely potestative, i.e. it is considered as being in the sole interests of only one of the parties to the contract.

The most frequent and important example of a condition precedent in Italian preliminary contracts relates to mortgage approval. It is clear that all parties to the transaction stand to lose out if the buyer cannot obtain a mortgage. Under Italian law, this condition precedent cannot be classified as a purely potestative condition.

If you are not fully certain of having the financial means necessary to complete your real estate investment and you are negotiating with a bank to obtain a mortgage or, if you need to sell another property to finance the purchase, we strongly advise that the preliminary contract should indicate this as a condition precedent.

We would recommend that you seek independent legal advice if you are buying property in Italy. Have your lawyer examine all paperwork before you sign anything.

Finally …

If you are looking at a real estate investment in Italy, why not talk to us? De Tullio Law Firm can advise and guide you throughout your Italian property purchasing journey. We have over 55 years of experience working with clients on their Italian and cross border property, family and inheritance matters. Get in touch.

 

You may also be interested in Buying property in Italy

Italian Inheritance Tax

Do beneficiaries need to pay tax on Italian inheritance?

This is a question we are often asked at De Tullio Law Firm. The answer is yes. Beneficiaries need to pay Italian inheritance tax.

Who calculates Italian inheritance tax?

Do beneficiaries have to pay taxes on inheritance?

When you become the beneficiary of an inheritance you may have to submit a statement of succession, “Dichiarazione di successione”  to the Italian tax authorities, “Agenzia delle Entrate”.

Firstly a succession procedure needs to be opened. Once this has happened, you can file the statement of succession. Although it is not always the case, the opening of a succession procedure usually coincides with a testator’s death. Your filing with the tax authorities should take place within 12 months of the succession procedure opening.

Once they receive the statement of succession, the tax authorities will calculate the amount of tax due on your inheritance.

It is worth noting however, that there is no obligation to file a statement of succession if the estate does not comprise any real estate. Likewise, if assets are valued at less than Euro 100,000 and the beneficiaries are a spouse, children and/or other direct heirs.

What is taxable?

In effect, Italian inheritance tax applies to the entire net value of the deceased’s estate. This therefore includes both movable and immovable assets.

Immovable assets include houses, shops, buildings, agricultural or building land.

Movable assets could for example include, boats, jewellery, works of art, bank and post office current accounts, money, investments such as shares, bonds, trust funds.

In addition, companies and shareholdings in companies are taxable. However, there are exceptions to this which would exempt heirs from inheritance tax.

How is Italian inheritance tax calculated?

Basic inheritance tax in Italy, “Imposta sulle Successioni” equates to 8% of the estate.

However, rates depend on the relationship of the beneficiary to the deceased.

The Italian inheritance tax rate drops to 6% between siblings, relatives up to the fourth degree cousins and relatives up to the third degree. This might for instance, be a spouse’s uncle. In the case of direct heirs such as the deceased’s children, spouse or registered partner, the applicable tax rate is 4%.

Summary of Italian inheritance tax rates

Heir Rate (Aliquota) Exemption up to
Spouse, relatives in the direct line of descent  (parents, grandparents, children, children’s children…) 4% 1.000.000 euro
Brothers and sisters 6% 100.000 euro
Other relatives up to grade 4, related in the direct line of descent, related in a collateral line up to grade 3 6% No exemption
Other subjects 8% No exemption

Finally …

Because Italian inheritance can be a complex matter and each case is different, we recommend that you seek expert support and advice.

If you wish to discuss your case with us or you are feeling unsure about anything related to Italian inheritance, do not hesitate to contact us for a free preliminary consultation.

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Italian And Cross Border Legal Specialists. De Tullio Law Firm.

Expertise in Italian and cross border law

At De Tullio Law Firm we provide independent legal advice in all areas of the law. The majority of our work focuses on managing a wide range of Italian and cross border legal matters. We are specialists in property, family and inheritance law.

A passion for the law led us here

De Tullio Law Firm: Combined experience of 55 years

Giovanni De Tullio. Founding Partner at De Tullio Law Firm.

Giovanni De Tullio founded De Tullio Law Firm in 1965. In addition to being a lawyer, Giovanni was a notary (notaio) for over 30 years. As a result, Giovanni brings tremendous experience and knowledge of Italian legislation to the team. Whether clients are purchasing or selling a home, gifting a home to a child, making a will or incorporating a company in Italy, Giovanni’s understanding of the Italian State’s requirements is an invaluable resource.

Following in his father’s footsteps, Giandomenico De Tullio also became a lawyer.

Giandomenico De Tullio. Managing Partner.

After a decade working overseas at international legal firms, as well as at the European Commission, Giandomenico joined Giovanni at De Tullio Law Firm.

Aside from being a member of The Italian Bar Association, Giandomenico is also a full member of Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners. STEP is the world’s leading professional body for practitioners in the fields of trusts, estates and related issues.

Giandomenico is also an active representative in a number of not-for-profit government organisations whose aim is to develop and promote economic and cultural relations.

Right beside you

Because we have over 55 years of experience providing independent legal advice, we understand that property investments, or planning inheritance is not just a complex legal journey but also a personal one.

Our knowledge of Italian and cross border property, family and inheritance law gives us unique insights into the processes involved. We pride ourselves on giving each of our clients the individual care that their case deserves.

Thanks to the dedication of our lawyers, associates and professional staff, we offer an extraordinarily high level of service, responsiveness and attention to detail.

Our clients come from all over the world

Clients include both individuals and companies seeking legal advice, support and services. Our multi-lingual team serves clients throughout Italy.

Finally …

Thank you for visiting our website. We hope you find the information useful. If there is anything you would like us to cover in an article or, if you would like to discuss a legal matter with us, please get in touch. We look forward to hearing from you.

Does The COVID Pandemic Impact The Italian Property Market?

COVID pandemic impact on the Italian property market

If you own property in Italy or you are planning to buy one, you may be wondering how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the real estate market in Italy.

Unfortunately, many people have lost their jobs or have had to halt professional activities during the pandemic. You might think that this will force property prices down so it would be a good time to invest in real estate in Italy.

Is that true?

Will the COVID pandemic negatively impact the Italian real estate market?

Coronavirus Impact on Italian Property Market

This is not an easy question to answer. Because Italian real estate agencies have only recently restarted their activities, it is too early to evaluate price fluctuations.

Generally speaking, no matter the cause of a crisis, properties sell at lower prices if owners need cash in the short term. However, if owners don’t need of cash, it is unlikely that they will sell at lower prices to achieve a quick sale.

How will COVID effect Italian house prices?

In order to understand the impact of COVID on Italian house prices, there is an important cultural aspect to consider. For Italians, investing in the property market and has always been seen as a secure investment. In any period of crisis, property safe havens become even more relevant.

In light of the above, it is hard to say how the pandemic will actually impact Italian property prices. It is difficult to predict whether property prices in Italy will drop or remain substantially the same.

What about pre-pandemic property contracts?

The scenario might be slightly different for property purchase negotiations started prior to the pandemic.

If you signed a contract to purchase an Italian property but the pandemic caused a delay in completion, it is unlikely that your situation has changed. Once it is possible, your transaction will complete according to the terms and conditions of your contract.

In other cases, you may be able to claim a force majeure applies due to the pandemic. It depends on the specific circumstances. For example, the exact fulfilment of the contract, payment timing, breach of contract claims, etc.

Finally …

If you would like more information about how to price an offer for an Italian property or, if you need advice on the impact of the pandemic on a property contract, please get in touch.

Italian Real Estate Agency Services

Italian Real Estate Agency Services

A real estate agents’ role is to connect vendors with buyers

The first step in purchasing a home in Italy is to look for properties that you like. For this, services of a licensed real estate agent provide invaluable support.

Real estate agents facilitate property transactions. They provide relevant information to buyers and vendors. However, Italian real estate agents have no legal obligation to undertake searches of a technical or legal nature (due diligence).

Clearly, a lack of due diligence could in the first instance impact the transaction itself. Further down the line, if you didn’t conduct due diligence prior to buying, you might run into issues. You may discover the property lacks of full or partial planning permission or that renovations do not conform with building regulations. Crucially, a lack of due diligence may effect the future saleability of your property.

Real estate agents in Italy are of course required to disclose information based on the principles of a professional duty of care. This implies an obligation to provide information on any circumstances or issues that potential buyers should know about. Imparting incorrect or false information to an interested party is illegal.

Real estate agents have a duty of care

In 2012, the  Milan Court of Appeal heard a case regarding an estate agency’s duty of care: ruling no. 307 filed on 27th  January 2012.

Clients of a real estate agency took them to court on the grounds that the agent had failed to provide relevant information on adverse encumbrances on a property the clients wished to purchase.

The clients sued the real estate agent for a refund of the €6,000 commission fee they had paid to the agency. They argued that the real estate agency had been derelict in their duty of care. The clients claimed that the real estate agency should have communicated the existence of two mortgage transcriptions on the property. They maintained they would not have signed a reservation offer or a preliminary contract had they known. Signing the latter triggered the commission payment to the real estate agent.

The court dismissed the case.

The onus is on potential buyers to conduct pre-purchase due diligence

In support of the court decision, the judge stated that legal searches did not form part of a real estate agent’s responsibilities. In other words, technical and legal investigations, including land registry, planning, zoning and mortgage searches on a property do not form part of a real estate agent’s remit.

What does Italian law say about the scope of real estate agency services?

Article 1759 of the Italian Civil Code requires real estate agents to notify parties of all known circumstances concerning a property transaction.

In this case,  the real estate agency had done this. They argued that as they had no prior knowledge of the encumbrances, they could not have informed the clients of their existence. The real estate agency had only become aware of the mortgage transcriptions when the clients informed them. The clients had only learned of the encumbrances when they were about to complete the sale.

There was no evidence that the real estate agency had any knowledge of the mortgages. The judge ruled they had not wilfully omitted to advise the clients about the adverse encumbrances. The responsibility for ascertaining this information did not lie with the real estate agent but, with the purchaser.

Article 1176 of the Italian Civil Code states that performance of checks and searches related to a property is not part of the agent’s professional duty of care. Furthermore, estate agents are neither legally responsible, nor qualified, to conduct in-depth due diligence.

Anything pertaining to the legal and technical due diligence of Italian property purchases should therefore be handled by legal and technical professionals.

Real estate agents facilitate the search for an Italian property

However, Italian real estate agents do not provide due diligence services.

When buying or selling a property at home, most people wouldn’t dream of entering into a transaction without the assistance of a lawyer and a surveyor. These are the professionals who conduct legal and technical searches and checks. Yet all too often, we meet foreign buyers who have decided to rely on what an estate agent tells them about a property.

Finally …

The reality is that a property transaction in Italy is an investment. It can quickly become costly – both financially and emotionally if things go wrong. In addition, there are the complexities of the Italian legal, tax and administrative systems. On top of this, there are the language barriers.

Essentially, in order to avoid any problems and before you sign any paperwork, you should engage an experienced, independent lawyer. The need for legal advice is far greater for an overseas transaction than when buying property at home.

De Tullio Law firm specialises in cross-border residential and commercial property transactions in Italy. We recommend that before you sign any paperwork with an estate agent that you seek independent legal advice.

Get in touch if you feel unsure about anything property-related and need advice.

 

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Italian Properties for €1. First City To Offer The Scheme

€1 properties in Taranto, Puglia

Following the success of Italian hill-towns and villages, Taranto is now offering €1 properties for sale.

Taranto, a city that sits on an island between a lagoon and the open sea in the region of Puglia is offering to sell some of its abandoned palazzi through a €1 scheme.

Taranto’s city council plans to start by offering five properties for sale, with the hope that if the scheme is a success, the project will expand.

The hope is to breathe new life into Taranto’s run down but picturesque old town by attracting investment which will develop the historic centre of Taranto.

€1 is the opening bid at auction

As with all 1 Euro house schemes around Italy, sales take place in public auction (vendita con incanto).

In Italy auctions are not common. There are no legal packs, which contain essential information including property titles and searches. Detailed property information and planning permission are therefore not available. Because you cannot tell anything about the background to a property just from looking at photos, you are responsible for conducting property-related searches.

To avoid buying what seems like a bargain but subsequently turns out to be a money pit, it is advisable that you go and inspect the property and check the local land registry. before you decide to make a bid. Obviously, this may not be possible because of time constraints and it can become costly. As you may not speak fluent Italian or have the expertise to assess what you are bidding for, we would recommend that you seek independent legal advice and professional expertise in Italy to evaluate the property before you submit a bid.

Terms and conditions apply to all Italian €1 property schemes

In fact, properties for €1 usually cost at least €20.000 at auction. On top of this, there is the legal requirement to renovate within a specific time frame. Italian properties for €1 schemes therefore generally end up costing at least €50.000.

In the case of Taranto, owners will be expected to foot the bill of restoring the properties. This could run to many of thousands of euros. Owners will have to present a restoration plan within two months of acquiring the building. In addition, owners will have to occupy the properties. The latter is a condition to stop speculators renovating and selling on these properties.

Finally …

There are plenty of other reasonably-priced houses in Italy without the terms and conditions attached to €1 property schemes. These properties may be a better option for you.

If you are interested in buying Italian properties for €1 or any other type of property in Italy, we recommend you seek independent legal advice before making committing yourself. We are here to help, please get in touch.

 

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Budget Law 2020 – Tax Measures

Income Tax ReliefBudget Law 2020 – Tax Measures

In order to foster economic growth, art. 5 of, “Decreto Crescita” came into effect in December 2019.

Legislation provides for significant changes to the income tax system for anyone who transfers their tax residence to Italy from 2020.

The law is retrospectively applicable to anyone who transferred their tax residence to Italy from 30th April 2019.

Who can benefit from tax measures in the Italian budget law?

Legislation on income tax now extends to foreign football players and other professional sportsmen and women. The law establishes a 50% reduction on income tax. It applies for 5 years provided the sports professional maintains their tax residence in Italy for at least two years. For those not from the sports arena, tax relief of 70% is also available. If for example you generate an income in Italy through employment, self-employment or from business start-up activities.

Income tax relief of up to 90% is available for those who transfer their residence to one of the following regions: Abruzzo, Molise, Campania, Puglia, Basilicata, Calabria, Sardinia, Sicily.

In order to take advantage of tax benefits, certain conditions apply. You can transfer your tax residence so long as you were not resident in Italy for the previous 2 tax years. You must undertake to reside in Italy for at least 2 years and, your work-related activity should mainly be in Italy.

There is no requirement for Italian citizens returning to Italy as tax residents from 1st January 2020 to have previously been registered with AIRE (the Registry Office for Italian Citizens Residing Abroad).

Tax relief is applicable for 5 tax years. However, a 50% income tax reduction is available on income you generate in Italy for a further five tax years if you have at least one minor or dependent child. This also applies if the child is in pre-adoptive foster care.

In addition, you must become the owner of at least one residential property in Italy. Your property purchase can take place either following your transfer to Italy or in the twelve months preceding your transfer. You can purchase property in your name, a spouse or partner’s name, in your children’s name or in co-ownership.

High net worth individual tax system

The 2017 Stability Law remains in force regarding foreign income from real estate investments, dividends, capital gains and other income.

This high net worth individual tax regime  is available if you have not been a tax resident in Italy for the nine (out of ten) years prior to transferring to Italy. The advantage consists in paying a substitute tax of € 100,000 on all income derived from abroad. Sports professionals (football players, basketball players, etc.) can benefit from this tax system.

Flat Tax

The Stability Law of 2019 includes a flat tax regime. This regime is aimed at individuals with a pension or another source of income from outside Italy. You can transfer residence to certain municipalities in the south of Italy and, provided you were not resident in Italy in the five previous tax years, you can opt to pay a flat-rate tax of 7% on your income from abroad.

Building-related taxes

Deductions for energy re-qualification (65%), building renovation (50%) and furniture and household appliance bonuses (50%) concerning the purchase of new furniture for renovated buildings are available.

A new “Facade Bonus” allows for 90% deductions on documented expenses relating to refurbishing or restoring external facades of buildings. As any work to facades must comply with technical regulations, work needs prior assessment and permission.

Capital Gains

The budget law also introduces changes to real estate capital gains. A substitute tax is available if a principal residence or a second home sale meets certain conditions. The substitute tax starts at a rate of 20% on sales of properties that took place until 31 December 2019. It rises to 26% for property sales from 1 January 2020. The application of this regime is optional and should be requested by the notary on the date set for the completion of the sale.

Company shares

The budget law offers terms for recalculating the value of investments in unlisted companies up to January 1, 2020. The drafting and certification of the appraisal, as well as the payment of the substitute tax is due by 30 June 2020.

These terms only apply to private individuals with equity investments unrelated to business operations. In particular, the aforementioned legislation allows the revaluation of equity investments held in companies not listed on regulated markets. Individuals must hold investments at 1 January 2020 and require a sworn appraisal report by 30 June 2020 when the substitute tax of 11% is payable.

Company assets

The budget law allows the revaluation of company-owned assets. Based on 2019 financial statements, the law introduces reduced substitute tax rates:

– from 16 to 12 per cent for depreciable assets;

– from 12 to 10 percent for non-depreciable assets.

In addition, a new provision allows companies to release credit balances recorded in their accounts against the recognition of higher values ​​at a rate equal to 10%.

This option does not concern IRPEF entities with simplified accounts.

New IMU

The budget law introduces a new version of IMU. It sees the merger of former property tax IMU (Imposta Municipale Propria) and the municipal service tax  TASI (Tributo Servizi Indivisibili) to create a new IMU (Imposta Municipale Unica) tax.

Finally …

With over 55 years experience of cross border and Italian property transactions, we understand that Italian property-related tax matters can be confusing. If you would therefore like further clarifications or want to discuss your situation, please contact us for a free consultation. We are here to help. 

 

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Real Estate in Italy: Reservation Offer

Real estate contract law in Italy

If you are considering buying real estate in Italy, Italian civil code in art. 1470 governs sales and purchase contracts for Italian real estate.

A contract is a consensual transactional instrument through which one party (the vendor) transfers the ownership, or a right, to an assets to another party (the buyer).

Contractually therefore, a buyer is under obligation to pay the agreed fee to the vendor for an asset or right.

Acceptance of a reservation offer for real estate in Italy

If you are not familiar with the legal and financial implications of the three-step property purchase process in Italy, you may wish to read our guide to buying property in Italy.

The first step to purchasing a property in Italy is a reservation offer

In effect, when buyers find an Italian property they like, they make a written offer on the property. Amongst other things, the reservation offer identifies the property in question and makes a price offer.

For the offer to be valid, first a vendor must accept the reservation offer in writing. This acceptance must then reach the potential buyer within a time frame stipulated in the reservation offer.

Contractual obligations

Until written acceptance of a reservation offer reaches potential buyers, no contractual obligation exists between the parties. In other words, the reservation offer is revocable.

However, buyers may stipulate they wish to keep their reservation offer firm for a specified amount of time. If a vendor accepts the time frame, it means the vendor has an obligation to remove the property from the market. Because the vendor will not be able to market the property for the duration, the offer is known as, an irrevocable reservation offer.

Italian estate agents: roles and fees

As in other countries, vendors in Italy often put their property in the hands of a real estate agency. The role of Italian real estate agents is to market the property to potential buyers. When a potential buyer makes an offer for a property, the real estate agent passes the offer on to the vendor. The estate agent does this through a reservation offer.

At this point, vendor and buyer are usually looking to move towards the second stage of the Italian purchasing process. This is where both parties sign a preliminary contract. If the vendor does not progress the sale to a preliminary contract stage, the reservation offer elapses and neither party has any obligation towards each other.

At the reservation offer stage, another aspect to consider is the estate agency commission. It is always worth asking if a real estate agent’s fees are negotiable. Generally however, commission ranges from 3% to 8% of the property sale price. Some agencies work on a fixed fee. To put that another way, fees are based on a percentage of the total sale price.

A reservation offer may not end in a sale

Between the reservation offer and signing a preliminary contract, buyers should carry out property checks and searches (due diligence). This may highlight problems or irregularities related to the property. These issues may subsequently lead to buyers withdrawing their offer.

The acceptance of a reservation offer between the seller and buyer is not therefore a guarantee it will end in a sale.

You should therefore be wary if the estate agency requests their commission at this stage.

At what stage should you pay Italian estate agency commission?

To clarify when exactly estate agents should receive their commission, a 2010 Supreme Court case is pertinent. In order for a real estate agent to be entitled to their fee, it is not sufficient that a broker merely puts vendors and buyers in contact. It is not enough to hope that the transaction concludes successfully.

In other words, commission is only payable to a real estate agent once a preliminary contract is in place between the vendor and buyer.

Difficulties linked to successful completion of a real estate transaction arise because there are so many pitfalls between the reservation offer and preliminary contract.

Avoiding contractual risks

To avoid risks, it is wise to seek independent legal advice before you sign any paperwork relating to buying property in Italy. Make sure you choose your own lawyer rather than a lawyer recommended by an estate agent or a vendor.

Your lawyer will guide you step by step through the intricacies of the Italian property purchase process.

Finally …

De Tullio Law Firm is an Italian Inheritance and Real Estate Law Firm present throughout Italy. We specialise in cross-border residential and commercial property transactions and inheritance matters in Italy. Should you need any further clarification concerning this or other property-related topics, De Tullio Law Firm will be happy to help. Get in touch with us at: info@detulliolawfirm.com.

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Safety Requirements on Home Renovations in Italy

Renovating an Italian property. Health and safety law

Who is liable for compliance with safety requirements on home renovations in Italy?

In the case of even minor construction work the, “works manager” is responsible for safety. This is usually an architect, engineer or designer. However, if the owner of a property directly procures the services of a worker, the homeowner is acting as the works manager.

This means that the homeowner is responsible for safety. Likewise if there is an accident, the homeowner is liable to criminal and civil consequences.

Imagine you hire a plasterer to render a wall and the plasterer falls off a ladder. Or, you find an electrician to rewire your property and the electrician gets electrocuted.

You, as the homeowner, are liable. Even if you are not around at the time of the accident. As the legal owner of the property, in the eyes of the law, you are the employer of the injured worker.

The risk of criminal and civil prosecution

Your liability for the accident is not only of a criminal nature, for culpable injuries caused to the worker, but also of a civil nature.

In other words, you may be liable to pay compensation. Compensation for a broken limb can amount to several thousand euros. In a worst-case scenario, compensation may be enough to see your property seized.

This is a very intricate legal issue based on technicalities regulated by Italian law. If you are planning refurbishment work on your property in Italy, make sure you meet  safety requirements.

Homeowner liabilities

When planning refurbishment works, such as renovations or painting, you are legally responsible for ensuring safety requirements.

Italian law takes the view that anyone regarded as, “non-professional”, such as a homeowner, who procures the services of a third party to carry out any type of home improvement, is responsible for ensuring that workers operate in accordance with health and safety legislation.

Safety requirements. A case study

Recently, the Supreme Court examined an appeal filed by a homeowner plaintiff who had commissioned a construction company to paint the exterior walls of a cottage. During the work, a painter fell through a hole in the paving. The painter fell several metres into the basement and tragically later died. The hole that caused the accident had previously been covered with boards. However, the boards had been removed by another worker and replaced with polystyrene, which was not strong enough to bear the weight of the painter.

The court of appeal upheld previous rulings which established that the homeowner had a duty of care in relation to the execution of the contract. In this case, the court identified several failures. In the first instance, the absence of a risk assessment plan. Secondly, a lack of maintenance on walkway around the cottage and risks posed by the opening into the basement. Thirdly the court considered that there had been a failure to supervise and inform workers at the property.

Safety requirements are an employer’s responsibility

The court found the homeowner at fault for these failures. Safety obligations are the exclusive competence of an employer, who in this case was the homeowner. In effect, the homeowner was acting as the painter’s employer. While the work was of a “domestic” nature, the court found that the homeowner was not exempt from performing the duties of works manager. In other words the accident occurred because of the homeowner’s failure to take responsibility for his employee’s safety. And the homeowner’s negligence to act in the role as designated works manager.

In cases such as this, it is, therefore, crucial to underline the homeowner’s obligation to point out any dangers on site and wherever possible, to provide for their elimination before work starts. Unless a homeowner can prove they exercised a duty of care and took all measures to provide a safe working environment, they will be held liable.

Health and safety requirements in Italian building contracts

When a homeowner engages a contractor, it is important to have a written contract. This should indicate that compliance with safety regulations is the contractor’s responsibility. This way it becomes clear, from a legal point of view, that the contractor is responsible for safety on home renovations in Italy.

Finally …

Whether you are building a new property in Italy, or renovating an existing Italian property, having the right building contract is vital to ensure that everyone involved knows their rights and responsibilities.

De Tullio Law Firm is a legal firm present throughout Italy. We have over 55 years of specialist experience dealing with issues related to property, construction and renovation matters. If you are thinking of undertaking building or refurbishment on your property in Italy, or if you are in a difficult situation concerning liabilities and safety requirements through refurbishment work, we are here to help. Get in touch with us at: info@detulliolawfirm.com

 

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Title deed in Italy. Change of Names.

Registering names on a title deed in Italy

The final step of the Italian conveyancing process is signing of the deed of sale. In effect this is a property title deed and transfers ownership of real estate into someone’s name.

This legal procedure demands the presence of a notary public, the real estate vendor(s) and buyer(s) and two witnesses.

The notary reads aloud the entire deed, which is written in Italian. All parties, including the witnesses and the notary public, then approve and sign the title deed.

If one of the parties to the transaction is not fluent in the Italian language, Italian law requires the presence of a qualified professional to translate and interpret the title deed. This could be a translator or a bilingual property lawyer. This legal requirement aims to ensure that all parties fully understand the content and ramifications of the deed. The professional acting as translator must also sign the title deed.

Once the notary has signed-off on the deed, the buyer acquires ownership of the real estate.

Subsequently, the notary is responsible for certain formalities. Because notaries work for the Italian State, registering the deed with the tax authorities is the first step. Next the notary lodges the deed in the Public Registers. This allows any third parties who may have an interest to know about the change of ownership. Lastly, the notary informs the land registry so they can update their records accordingly.

How do you change the name on an Italian property / title deed?

There are many reasons why you may need to change the name on a title deed in Italy. Divorce and death are the most common reasons.

In order to change the name on a title deed, you will require a new notarial deed.

For example, if you acquired a property with a spouse and following a divorce you need to remove one of the names from a real property title deed, you will need a new notarial deed.

Where the divorce decree is from an Italian Court, the transfer of ownership will not involve payment of any real estate transfer tax.

If on the other hand, the divorce decree is issued by a non-Italian Court, you will have to pay real estate transfer tax.

The terms of the new title deed determine applicable tax rates. It will depend whether the real property changed hands without any payment or if there was a financial transaction involved. In the latter case, you will need a new deed of sale.

How do you find out whose name is on a title deed in Italy?

In order to find out whose name appears on a title deed, you will need to conduct mortgage and cadastral searches.

Finally …

For more information and clarification or, if you need to change a name on a title deed or ascertain whose name is on a real property title deed, feel free to get in touch with us. We are here to help.

You may also like to read: Translating legal documents in Property Transactions