Buying a house in Italy for foreign citizens.

Despite the crisis caused by the pandemic, Italy remains one of the most attractive countries for foreign investors.

Observing the trends of the new market, we can see how the potential buyer has changed. The upper class has shrunk to make room for the advance of a middle class that prefers to focus on a smaller, comfortable house with no excess. In locations that are less of a target for mass tourism, located in pleasant places where you can spend your retirement or an extended period peacefully.

Legal requirements for buying a house in Italy for foreigners

To buy a property in Italy, foreigners must meet the following conditions:

Foreigners residing in Italy: In this case, a residence permit or residence card is required. Same thing for family members of foreigners residing in Italy and stateless for less than three years. Together with it, the acquisition of the Italian tax code is essential.

Foreigners not legally residing in Italy: For those who do not regularly stay in Italy it is necessary that there is an international agreement that allows the purchase. To be applicable, the international agreement must allow for the principle of reciprocity. The Italian person must also be allowed to purchase a house in that foreign country.

Citizen of the EU or of EEA countries: In this case, there are no limits to the purchase. The same is valid for stateless persons residing in Italy for more than three years.

Italian property, purchase process

Each different State has its own rules of private law, knowing the law governing the contract is one of the most important aspects, if not the most important, to avoid the risk of negotiating and drafting clauses that may then prove to be not fully applicable or even invalid.

In Italy there is a standard protocol that is followed in the purchase of all properties.

Let’s start with the purchase proposal, an irrevocable offer that contains the main terms of the transaction between seller and buyer.

Once the proposal has been accepted, the preliminary sales contract will be drawn up, an agreement that is compulsorily drawn up in writing, with which the contractors formally undertake to purchase the property. The contract usually provides for the payment of a deposit. It must contain all the conditions dictated by the parties in the purchase proposal. The main purpose of the agreement is to oblige the parties to the future stipulation, under the terms and conditions agreed therein.  However, it is not an obligation to make the purchase.

The buyer’s rights on a property can be considered effective following the transcription in the notarial registers, by a notary, of the so-called notarial deed, the document in which the transfer of ownership is laid down.

The transcription in the Real Estate Registers has an extreme importance, because in addition to being a protection for the buyers, it also protects the owners and allows both parties to be able to conclude the sale in peace and at the best conditions.