How to buy in Italy
NUMBER OF SALES
The list below covers the main steps you will go through when buying a property in Italy:
- CODICE FISCALE: It is an identification code calculated on the basis of your surname, your names, the place of your birth and the date of your birth. It will be used any time you will need to deal with the Authorities and it is issued by the “Agenzia delle Entrate”
- OPENING AN ITALIAN BANK ACCOUNT: In the event of a purchase it is essential to open a bank account in Italy not only to transfer there the funds for the completion (as the final payment normally happens in Italian bankers drafts) but also to get the various utilities paid automatically
- PROPOSTA D'ACQUISTO (Formal offer of purchase): When a client, after having visited some properties, decides to go ahead and to buy one of those, the negotiation starts with an offer. The offer to purchase must be in writing with a check as down payment. Then, if the offer has been accepted it can be verbally communicated. Once the vendor signs it accepting the offered price this means that he undertakes not to sell the property to anybody else until a certain date. This letter is to protect the buyer from losing the opportunity to purchase.
- CADASTRAL CHECKS: Before going ahead it would be better to investigate the title of the property at the “Land registry” (Conservatoria e Catasto). This would be useful to check that the property is regularly registered, that it belongs to the person who is undertaking to sell it and if there are loans on it.
- COMPROMESSO (Preliminary agreement of sale): The Compromesso is drawn up and this is a legally-binding document which states the agreed sale price, the completion date (Rogito) and any information and rights the property has. The Rogito is then drafted and it is usually executed 1 to 3 months after the execution of the Compromesso.
- ROGITO (Deed of purchase): The deed of purchase, final contract or ‘atto notarile’ is usually signed after the compromesso – which is not mandatory as the definitive contract can be immediate – and only when all the documentation is available. It is signed by both parties, the balance is paid and the property is officially transferred. Following completion, the notary issues a certified copy of the deed of sale and registers a certified copy of the deed with the Land Registry (Catasto).
For all listed properties we did a due diligence and we provided to check:
- Documentation about the origin of the property
- Urban authorizations and certificates
- Condominium rules
- Other administrative and technical aspects
- Environmental aspects
We also assist our clients for:
- Codice Fiscale
- Open an Italian Bank Account
- Best exchange ratio
- Formal offer purchase – «proposta d’acquisto»
- Cadastral Checks
- We support the «notaio» with the preliminary sales agreement and the final deed
SALE AND PURCHASE CONTRACT
Documents and compliances that the buyer should receive from the seller:
- Documentation about the origin of the property: This document is basically the notarized purchasing contract which certify the ownership of the property
- Urban authorization and certificates: These documents are released by a Municipality to grant the regular development and other characteristics according to the law
- Condominium rules: Regulation of the relationship among the various owners and limitation regarding the use of common space and structures
- Other administrative and technical aspects: They concern safety purpose in the building sites and utility systems, existing loans, etc
- Environmental aspects: The property needs to be in compliance with Italian environmental regulations and laws issued for public safety
REAL ESTATE TAXES
- IMU: the municipal tax on real estate, is the main local property tax affecting all property owners, both individual and companies in Italy. Any owner of real properties located in Italy must pay this tax on a yearly base. The taxable base is the estimated value for the type and class of property, as assessed by the Cadastral Office. IMU rate could be between maximum 1,06% of the assessed value of the property (based on the cadastral value)
- TARI and TASI: TARI is a tax on municipal services, such as road maintenance or street lighting and cleaning, etc. TASI is a refuse/garbage tax. Any owner of real properties located in Italy must pay these taxes on a yearly base in two installments. The taxable base is the dimension of and the type and class of property
- Utilities: Electricity, water, gas/oil etc for heating, phone
- Condominium expenses
Non-Italian residents are subject to income tax only on income arising in Italy and are required to make an annual return of such Italian income. In case the apartment is rented out, a “flat tax” has to be paid. It is named cedolare secca and it is paid on the base of 21% of the annual return from the rental.
Benefit for restructuring works and energy saving
Substantial tax deductions on the buyer/owner’s personal income tax are currently provided by Italian law for renovating works, on residential properties located in Italy and owned by resident as well as non-resident person (*)
Specifically, the 50% deduction is available for expenses incurred for:
- Restoration works
- Preservation works
- Building restructuring works
A 65% deduction is available for expenses related to energy saving works, and will have to be allocated for a period of 10 years.
TRANSFER TAX residential – standard categories (not luxury units)
The transfer tax has two different rates in case of sales of residential properties: