has now been in operation over 15 Years
Guide to buying a property - Italy
There are three main stages:
You agree the price that is
acceptable to both parties. Your offer is the
Proposta d'acquisto, you then move onto stage 2
Contratto premliminare (contratto preliminare di compravendita
immobiliare - also known as the compromesso). This works
on a promise principle -i.e. the vendor promises to sell a
property to a buyer who in turn promises to buy it.
is governed under Italian law so it is a legally binding contract.
You have to make sure that the property is the vendor's to
sell and that are no other interested owners. It is therefore
sensible to instruct a good lawyer and if you are not fluent
in Italian, make sure that the translation of the contract
is accurate. When you sign you have to pay 20% of the purchase
price plus estate agency commission.
to buy subject to contract) You will be expected to make a
formal written offer to purchase the property from the vendor.
This is a legally and irrevocably binding offer (unless you
have stipulated otherwise) that means that you are bound by
its terms. When the Vendor (Seller) has accepted your offer,
you are both obliged by law to procced to the compromesso
- prelimnary contract. You have to be sure that all the contractural
clauses, dates etc are included in your offer. At this stage
you are then expected to pay a 10% deposit. Once paid the
property should be taken off the market.
prelimnary contract - contratto preliminar - commonly
called the compromesso. This is a very important part in the
proceedings. The exchange of contracts that essentially formalises
the purchase. This contract binds both parties. It provides
a description of the property and its condition and the details
of the sale, agreed purchase price and date for signing the
deed of sale. At this point the vendor has to warrant that
the property is unencumbered by any financial or legal liability.
The purchaser then has to sign the compromesso within 30 days
of the Proposta d'acquisto
pay a further 20% - 30% of the purchase price. At that time
the purchaser will also have to pay any estate agency fees.
- Deposit: There are two types of deposit. Caparra
Penitenziale - If the purchasers refuses to perform the
contract without a lawful reason after the Compromesso has
been signed, the purchaser will lose the entire deposit. If
the vendor pullout without a lawful reason he / she will have
to pay the purchaser double the deposit paid by the purchaser.
Caparra Confermatoria - as with the first if
the purchaser pulls out the entire deposit is lost. If the
vendor pulls out again there is a double deposit amount to
pay the purchaser. If there is a material breach, the claimant
can recover damages and can also seek a hearing to enforce
the contract and complete the sale.
or Atto Notarile - Completion. Within 3 months from exchanging
contracts the purchaser will be expected to complete the transaction
by signing the deed of sale. The date for signing will have
been agreed in the compromesso. The final payment has to be
made and the tittle to the property will be transfered from
sellor to purchaser. A Notaio will then witness the final
deed of sale and the conveyance of transfer will be signed.
A certified copy of the deed is issued by the Notaio and the
original document is sent to the Ufficio dei registri immobillari
- Land Registry to be registerd. Once this deed has been registered
the purchaser becomes the legal owner of the property. Sometimes
several months can elapse before the registration is concluded.
is subject to VAT at 20 per cent. With residential rental
income the income tax is charged at the same rate as other
income. The first €100,000 of Italian income is taxed at 23
per cent with an excess being taxed at 33 per cent. Expenses
like mortgage interest are tax deductible.
a property is not let out the tax charged is at a notional
rate. This would normally be around 1 per cent of the property's
value per year. If the property is sold within five years
of ownership the tax rate will be 23 per cent and if it is
owned for more than five years then there will be no tax.
In Italy there is no inheritance tax, however the beneficiary
of the inheritance will have to pay a registration and transfer
The above information is given in good faith by jml Property
Services and the website it is being displayed on. It should
not be relied on for accuracy and property owners should consult
tax experts / accountants in the country their property is
in and also their home country ©jml property Services 12-05
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