Real Estate in Italy - Investing

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Rent in Italy


Real Estate Purchase in Italy

1EUR House Program

Advisers in real estate in Italy

Sample real estate contacts, downloads and links

Rent in Italy

In Italy,  property rental is not handled only by real estate agents. It can also be handled privately between the landlord and a person interested in renting a property. 

Rental agents in Italy typically charge a commission equal to one/two months’ rent.

Property is rented either empty (vuoti) with no furniture, semi-furnished (parzialmente arredati), or completely furnished (arredati).

Most owners will require a minimum of two, and in some cases, three month’s rent as a deposit. The deposit is returned in full at the end of the tenancy, if there have not been any damages to the property.

There are different types of residential tenancy agreements, which differ from one another according to duration (short term/long term rental contracts) and purpose.

Short-term rental contact

Under Italian law, short term rental contract options are:

  • Contracts for tourism purposes (contratto di locazione per uso turistico) which allow a tenant to rent an apartment for a few days, weeks, or months. The purpose of the rental (holiday purposes) and the statement that residency cannot be taken in the property are explicitly established. Generally, these contracts last less than a month and don’t need to be registered, unless tourists decide to prolong their stay for more than 30 day.
  • Contracts for temporary purposes (contratto di locazione ad uso transitorio) which allow a tenant to rent an apartment for a specific purpose (stated in the contract), and for a limited time (generally between 1 and 18 months). For students attending a university program, the lease can run from 6 to 36 months. This type of contract can be renewed, but not extended. At the end of the lease, the tenant does not have to give the landlord notice.

Be aware that short term rental contracts cannot be used to establish residency.

Long-term rental contact

Long term rental contract options are:

  • Free market contracts (contratto di locazione a canone libero), also referred to as 4+4, as this type of contract has a minimum duration of 4 years, and can be renewable for an additional 4 year period. 

Contract terms are freely agreed upon between parties, except for the duration and renewal procedures.  If the contract provides for a different duration, e.g., 2 years instead of a 4 year period, the duration clause is considered void. 

This does not affect the validity of the entire contract, because the void clause is automatically substituted by law to a 4 year period.

The tenant has more flexibility, though, as they are able to cancel the contract at any time, by giving the landlord 6 months’ notice. 

  • Contracts with an agreed rate (contratto di locazione a tariffa concordata), also referred to as 3+2 as this type of contract has a minimum duration of 3 years, and can be renewable for an additional 2 year period. If the contract provides for a rent amount which is higher than the maximum determined by the agreement of tenants’ and landlords’ local associations, the clause will be deemed as void. The rent is calculated according to precise parameters, such as location, size and quality of the apartment

After signing, the owner has 30 days to register the contract with the revenue agency. The long term rental contract allows you to establish residency.

Mandatory information in rental contacts

Regardless of the type of agreement, the terms listed in the contract should always include the following information:

  • the landlord and the tenant’s personal details
  • property details
  • an energy performance certificate (Attestato di Prestazione Energetica or APE)
  • contract length, including exact start and end dates
  • monthly rent, and what is included in the price;
  • a deposit (deposito cauzionale/cauzione). Some landlords may also require a guarantee statement from a bank
  • a cancellation policy (politica di cancellazione) for both the tenant and the landlord
  • utilities/maintenance: the terms and conditions relating to utility and maintenance costs for the property. 

Real Estate purchase in Italy

Private person

Can anyone purchase real estate in Italy? The answer is: it depends on the basis of your citizenship status, and the reciprocity treaties that Italy has with your country. 

European citizens and non-European citizens residing in Italy can freely purchase Italian property.  Non-EU and non-Italian residents are subject to the principle of reciprocity (Meaning that, if an Italian is allowed to buy a property in the prospective buyer’s country, the buyer is allowed to purchase real estate in Italy).  For example, Italy and the United States have a reciprocity treaty, stating that Americans can buy property in Italy and Italians can buy property in America.

Keep in mind that: 

  • to purchase a house you need to already have a tax code (codice fiscale)
  • purchasing a house will not automatically give you the right to obtain a visa or a residence permit.


Purchasing a house might seem like a simple transaction for some; however, there are a few tips to consider before any acquisition:

  • Contact a real estate agent to ensure a safe purchasing process.  An agent will give you the possibility to start viewing properties that can be of interest, and  to book appointments to see the properties. Usually, the real estate agent fee is between 2-4% of the sale price.
  • When you decide to move forward with a specific property, make the right verifications (it is advised to use an Italian lawyer) to ensure real estate due diligence, like ascertaining that/if:
  • the property is free of any encumbrances or third party rights
  • ask the planning permits and other documents related to the house are in order
  • the price of the property is established in accordance with the real value of the property.

Sign a pre-sale agreement (contratto preliminare) which contains the offer you make to the owner of the property, the deposit (usually 10%-20% of the sale price), the date of the “rogito notarile” (the deed of the sale), and the conditions of the payment.

If the seller signs it, the agreement is considered binding. 

If the buyer withdraws from the sale after the parties have signed the pre-sale agreement, the buyer loses the deposit.

If the seller forfeits the agreement, the buyer is owed double the deposit.

Pay the fees for purchasing the property. Most of the fees are paid by the buyer: registration tax, VAT, land registry tax, notary tax, and legal fees.  Some of these taxes differ for residents and nonresidents. 

On the day of the “rogito notarile” (the deed of the sale), the buyer and the seller sign the deed of the sale.

Once the document is signed, the new owner will register the property with the Land Register, and pay all the required fees related to the procedure to the agent (if the buyer has one).

1 Euro House Program

Italy is struggling with the phenomenon of abandoned villages. Families and young people often leave town to move to larger homes in nearby cities and villas in the countryside.

The 1 Euro House project was started in some Italian municipalities, with the aim of countering the abandonment by the population, and reviving the areas having difficulties. The main reason for the program is to start to repopulate the villages that are being deserted, with the young population leaving, and the elderly slowly fading away.

The owners of the properties give the municipality the availability to sell the houses at the symbolic price of 1€. 

The municipal administration promotes the project, and guarantees the regularity of the sale.

The buyer should:

  • Find 1 euro houses located in the north and south of the Italian peninsula by clicking here
  • After choosing a property of interest, plan a restructuring and revaluation project
  • Contact the municipality. Some municipalities require the compilation of forms, through which the buyer expresses their interest, and is then obliged to purchase and renovate the house
  • Deposit funds for the surety policy set by the municipality, in order to guarantee the correct execution of the renovation work. The policy expires at the end of the completed work
  • Support notarial fees for registration and transfer of responsibility for utility payments
  • Execute the necessary work within the time frame decided by the municipality

Advisers in real estate

In Italy there are many agencies that offer specialist consultancy services for investors within the Italian real estate market. These agencies have as their main objective to offer targeted consultancy based on the needs of individual clients, private individuals or  companies. it is possible to find real estate advisors throughout Italy.

Sample real estate contacts, downloads and useful links