Italy Buying Guide

The purchase of an Italian property is very different to the process of purchasing property in England.   It is vital to obtain independent legal advice and not to rely upon the Estate Agent selling the property or the Lawyer acting on behalf of the Seller. In addition, it is also essential to employ an English speaking Lawyer or Solicitor to protect your own interests. Although most exchange controls have been repealed, buying a property in Italy is still a complex legal process with specialised procedures and difficulties inherent to the Italian market.  See Italy Buying Guide.

To carry out all the searches connected with the local planning and building regulations and a survey on the state of the property, a Surveyor (“Geometra”) will be required. The “Geometra” has a different role to that of the English Surveyor. The “Geometra” does not report on the condition of a property, but will confirm the official planning and land usage status of the property. This is very important, particularly in relation to rural and historic properties. Without the involvement of the “Geometra” at this stage, potential problems may not immediately become clear, if indeed at all, until the final searched are carried out by the local Notary Public (“Notaio”).

In order to complete the transaction, a “Notaio” will also be required, because in most cases, only Notaries can validly transfer title to property under Italian Law.

In addition, you will also need a Fiscal code (“codice fiscale”) to buy property and to open bank accounts and pay bills.

We always warn potential Clients that in view of the legal and practical difficulties involved in buying a property in Italy, it is highly advisable to seek the assistance of a specialised Italian Lawyer, usually based in the UK, at a very early stage, preferably before signing any document, or paying any deposit.

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