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Italian Property Survey – Need One Or Not?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Italian Property Surveysurvey

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. Read more

The Italian Rent to Buy scheme

Reading Time: 6 minutes

rent to buyIntroduction of the Italian Rent to Buy scheme

In September 2014, the Italian parliament introduced measures to revitalise the property real estate sector. These measures include a rent to buy scheme as part of the Sblocca Italia – Unlock Italy – decree (Article 23 of Legislative Decree 133/2014).

With access to credit in Italy continuing to be tight, the rent to buy scheme has two main aims:

  1. to help people purchase a property and
  2. to support builders and developers sell unsold stock of property.

Read more

Self-build projects in Italy. Living on-site. What’s the law?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Self-build projectsIn pursuit of their Italian dream home, some people decide to build a house on land they have purchased. If you are thinking of self-build projects in Italy, we would always advise you to seek independent legal advice before signing any paperwork to do with land-purchase.

Even, if on paper, the land you are contemplating buying has outline planning permission, actually getting a building project off the ground in Italy can be extremely complex. You will need to navigate a maze of red tape; zoning and planning laws, environmental restrictions, building permits and regulations – to list but a few. Read more

property auctions IN ITALY

Reading Time: 5 minutes

property auctions IN ITALYProperty Auctions in Italy…

… a few facts and tips.

An unfinished hotel and empty swimming pool sit sadly on the lush hillside of Pitigliano in Tuscany, where they should have welcomed the holidaymakers who flock to central Italy. The Tosteto spa was seized in 2010, according to a local court order. Since then, six auctions have failed to attract a buyer for the Tosteto spa, partly because the original developer still holds rights to the land.

For a seventh auction this month, the valuation for the Tosteto spa has been cut to 4.6 million euros from 8.9 million euros at its first auction. There is already an eighth auction scheduled for October, suggesting the sellers are not hopeful. Read more

What you absolutely must understand before you buy a property in Italy!

Reading Time: 4 minutes

What you absolutely must understand before you buy a property in Italy!

before you buy a property in Italy

When you visit a country for a holiday the cultural differences are charming and exciting and ultimately do not affect your life. This changes dramatically when you move to, or invest financially, in that country.

You may have already bought a property in your own country. Maybe you are English and the estate agent passed all relevant information to your lawyer to process the purchase, maybe you are American and your independent buying agent was fully qualified to deal with the process and very aware of the ease with which litigation takes place in the USA. In both cases, the most risk free and secure method for you, as a buyer has become the assumed and probably the only way in which you can purchase that property. We take for granted that our interests are so well protected that it is very difficult to unknowingly make a mistake. Read more

Defects and non-compliances in Italian property purchases

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Defects and non-compliancesItalian property purchases – What’s the legal position when it comes to defects and non-compliances?

During our legal careers, my father and I have dealt with all sorts of seemingly improbable scenarios. The couple from Scotland who discovered they had bought a property that didn’t actually legally belong to the vendor. The German family, who arrived in Tuscany for their first holiday at their recently purchased dream property to find the previous owner’s brother and family in residence. It transpired that the brother was a co-owner of the property, who had no idea the property had been ‘sold’. Read more

Selling properties in Italy? What you should know.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

20Selling properties in Italy can often be a difficult and lengthy process, so it is important to make things easier for yourself by preparing and understanding what’s involved. The first stage is to put the property on the market, either as a private sale or though an estate agency.

If you are considering appointing an Italian real estate agent, it is important to ensure that the agent is qualified and registered with the local Chamber of Commerce in full compliance with Italian law. Read more

Hidden Defects in an Italian Property

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Hidden Defects in an Italian Property… Buyers Beware!

Where exactly do you stand if you discover major hidden defects with your Italian property following completion? You move into your dream Italian home only to find that the condition of the property is significantly worse than anticipated.

hidden defects

This is exactly the nightmare scenario the Wright family in Lazio found themselves in. The day after moving in, the family discovered serious water penetration into several rooms in the house, notably the kitchen and living room.

Following their discovery, the Wrights raised the matter with the previous owners, who denied there was a serious problem; the particulars of the property had provided no information on its condition, and the Public Notary also considered that given the Wrights had signed a legally binding Proposta d’Acquisto declaring that they were purchasing the property ‘in condition as seen’, then there was nothing he could do. Read more

Reverse mortgage

Reading Time: 2 minutes

In December 2015 the Italian Ministry of Economic Development signed a decree implementing the new reverse mortgage, a form of equity release financing.reverse mortgage

The reverse mortgage allows home owners over the age of 60 to convert part of the value of their property into cash using the property as security for the loan. The owner remains the legitimate owner and retains the right to live in the property. The reverse mortgage represents an alternative to selling the property. At the time of signing of the loan, a plan of repayments is established, just like any other form of personal loan.

Interests and related costs are refunded at the time of death of the borrower.

Should the owner decide not to repay the financed sum in advance, the heirs, who inherit the debt entered into by the deceased, have the following options:

  • Repay the debt to the bank and clear the mortgage from the
  • Selling the mortgaged property
  • Allow the lending bank to sell the property at market value according in order to repay the mortgage.

If the property is sold at market value, the heirs have the right to obtain the difference once the debt has been repaid. The bank cannot ask the heirs to repay the debt, in the case that  the bank fails to sell the property.

Another feature of the reverse mortgage regards interests, which can be refunded either at the time of expiry of the loan or at fixed deadlines. If the “refund upon expiry” formula is chosen, no sum is due to the bank during the loan. In this case, there is no insolvency regarding the financing.

The sum granted to the borrower is determined by:

  • the borrower’s age – the older the borrower is, the higher the percentage of equity release that will be granted
  • the value of the property used to secure the loan

If you wish more information on this topic, please contact us.

Prevention Is Better Than Cure… Seek Legal Experts

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Prevention is always better than cure, therefore, always seek legal experts.

You’ve seen a few Italian properties online that you really like the look of. You want to book flights to Italy, organise rental car and accommodation to see the properties for yourself. But how do you know if the properties you’ve set your heart on seeing are legally safe and structurally sound? Before being advertised with a real estate agent, was a survey conducted? Have the legalities been checked?

Be sure to seek legal experts, before purchasing a property.

seek legal experts 

We can provide an independent and professional pre-purchase property background check service. That way, you can avoid problems such as buying a property with shared title deeds, other legal and financial complications, structural or planning permission issues. Knowing exactly where you stand before you view properties, you increase your chance of finding the right property first time and avoiding wasted trips and the expense of repeat visits and false starts.

We also provide a pre-sales property background check service for owners preparing to put Italian property on the real estate market. Having all the legal and structural details as part of your property sales package offers vendors a competitive advantage when promoting property for sale.

Please contact us if you would like assistance.

Italian Property Background Check

Our independent professional legal and structural advice will save you time and money before you buy or sell a property in Italy.

Ask about our pre-purchase and pre-sale services

Certificate of Habitability

Title Deeds / Legal Ownership

Bad debts

Land Registry

Planning Permission

Structural Survey

Geological Survey

Adverse Possession