Italian Property Survey – Need One Or Not?

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For most people buying a property in Italy is a major expense; in our view at De Tullio Law Firm, not commissioning a property survey is a false economy.

A surveyor, “geometra”, will provide you with invaluable information and support during the property purchasing process, which will help save you money both prior to and after completion.

“Buyer beware” principle

In Italy, property is purchased under the principle of ‘caveat emptor’ or ‘buyer beware’. Essentially, what this means is that the onus is on the buyer to ensure that there are no issues with the property – this includes land purchases.

If you purchase an Italian property and subsequently discover there are problems, it is always time-consuming, frustrating and costly to sort everything out.

A property survey will highlight hidden defects, illegally built structures and any areas of the property that require repair or maintenance. It is important to be aware of all these issues. After completion, you will have to pay for works required to rectify any defects you discover, or take legal action through the Italian courts, if you have a case, to get a refund from the vendors.

It is important to make sure you are not overpaying for your Italian property. A common misconception is that the vendor’s or estate agent’s valuation is based on Italian property market prices. Obtaining a valuation as part your survey will give you the true value of a property. The valuation will take into consideration any defects uncovered and repairs needed. This will ensure you pay a fair amount for your property and can help save thousands of Euros.

The importance of a survey

The support of a surveyor during the home buying process is invaluable, but it can also be extremely useful after completion. Depending on the type of survey you commission, the report will give detailed information about parts of the property which may require attention in the future thus allowing you to budget those costs going forward. In addition, a surveyor can give you preliminary advice on any plans you may have to extend or alter the property in the future.

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