MAINTENANCE RESPONSIBILITIES IN RENTAL APPARTMENTS/VILLAS
Now that you have rented a home in Italy, here are some of the facts of rental life as sanctioned by Italian customs, usage and law.
Within three days of taking possession, it is essential that the tenant checks the premises very carefully and notes all discrepancies/deficiencies and alert the owner. The contract may say 15/30 days, but still advise the owner quickly. Some of the items you should pay particular attention to are: broken tiles, chipped sinks, scratched doors, broken window panes, scratched or broken window sills, locks, persiana-cords, and if the premises are rented furnished, a thorough description of the condition of the furniture. This is extremely important because, under Italian law, the lack of written evidence of deficiencies at the time of possession presupposes the premises to be in good rental condition, and the tenant to be liable at the end of the tenancy if the deficiencies are not made a matter of record.
A second important point is the question of maintenance. Italian law states that MINOR maintenance is the tenant’s responsibility and that MAJOR maintenance is that of the landlord. The law does not specify in detail which is minor and which is major, however the following examples, based on experience, local usage, and case laws are submitted for your consideration: (the following might seem severe, so when in doubt ask us for advice, each landlord is different and may fix some minor maintenance for you, we will give you the best advice according to circumstances)
MINOR MAINTENANCE: TENANT’S RESPONSIBILITY
Repair of persiana cords; routine lubricating of persiana mechanism, faults to the window electric motor.
Repair of leaking faucets or valves.
Repair of leaking toilet tanks.
Electric Hot water heater: replacement of burned-out heating element, thermostatic control or defective valves.
Cleaning stopped or clogged drains.
Repair or replacement of loose or broken outlets or switch plates.
Oiling and cleaning of water pumps and motors in single houses or villas.
Oiling and cleaning of heating equipment (motor, burner, furnace, chimney) in single houses and villas.
Replacement of window panes regardless of how they were broken.
Repair or replacement of door locks.
Repair of loose baseboards and replacement of broken ones.
Upkeep of gardens in single houses or villas, e.g. watering, cutting of grass, weeding, trimming of bushes, applying fertilizer. (unless otherwise agreed apon)
Routine maintenance of window and door hardware (the tenant is responsible if lack of maintenance of french door or window latches causes scratches on pavements or window sills).
Cleaning of septic tank if applicable.
Mildew caused by improper ventilation of quarters and/or the use of space heaters. See our “Condensation” section on this site.
Routine lubricating of metal gates (hinges, locks)
Electric appliances, maintenance costs. Light globes.
Any antenna necessities other than the local Italian channel antenna.
IN GENERAL, WHATEVER REPAIRS OR REPLACEMENT NECESSARY WHEN CAUSED BY ROUTINE USE OR FAULT OR NEGLIGENCE IS THE TENANT’S RESPONSIBILITY
MAJOR MAINTENANCE: LANDLORD’S RESPONSIBILITY
In general all repairs necessary to insure the stability of walls and the building structure
Replacement of beams, replacement or repairs to roofs, ceilings, stairs, floors, enclosure walls or sustaining walls (includes earthquake damage).
Replacement of loose or falling wall tiles.
Replacement of hot water heaters when beyond repair through no fault of the tenant.
Replacement of faucets or flushing mechanism when beyond repair through no fault of the tenant.
Repair of leaking roofs or walls. Wet patches on walls.
Replacement of heating units, when beyond repair thorough age or weather faults.
Repair of major defects in heating equipment such as burned motors, transformers, or burners through no fault of the tenant.
Landscaping of gardens (planting of trees, bushes, and seeding of lawns at the beginning of tenancies.)
Electric appliances, major maintenance and replacement. Small repairs up to around 40 euros is at the tenant’s cost)
All “structural” faults of inside and outside the premises.
Complete upkeep for only the “Italian” tv antenna.
IN GENERAL, ANY REPAIRS OR REPLACEMENT (major) NOT DUE TO ROUTINE USE, BUT TO AGE OR STRUCTURAL DEFECTS ARE THE LANDLORD’S RESPONSIBILITY.
Q. WHAT AM I RESPONSIBLE FOR WHILE RENTING THE PROPERTY?
– It is a little different from other countries in that it is the tenant’s responsibility for the general maintenance of the property, while the landlord is responsible for major maintenance such as plumbing, electrical problems, etc. When you are settled in and in email contact with one of our staff, you can easily ask for advice for when you encounter a repair and stuck with the problem of who has to pay for it. We have local cleaning staff and also handyman staff with low costs so a small job may be fixed quickly and things do not add up for the time of the return of your security deposits.
When repairs are required to the premises which are the landlord’s responsibility, the tenant MUST notify the landlord prior to taking any action or the tenant may find himself liable for payment of the repairs.
In addition, the tenant must notify the landlord of problems before they reach epidemic proportions. (Example, notify landlord that tiles are falling off the wall so that he can take action before it is necessary to retile the whole room) If in doubt, do not hesitate to ask our offices for advice.
For updates please refer to http://www.sunia.it/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/tabella_gdm2002.pdf