Renting / Buying a Home in Italy/ All You Need To Know

Renting / Buying a Home in Italy/ All You Need To Know


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RENTING / BUYING HOMES AND APARTMENTS IN ITALY/ WHAT TO KNOW

Real Estate Agent Fees and Charges   in Italy, 2018/2019
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What to ask us or other Realtors about fees and charges;
Ask for as much information as possible before signing an agreement with a real estate agent.

Things to ask include:
⦁ what services it provides
⦁ a full list of fees it charges if different from below**

Letting Agents/Relocations Agents/Selling Agents, will give you information about their fees and charges before you visit homes with them at your request.

What letting/selling agents can charge for;

⦁ a holding deposit to ‘reserve’ a property before you sign a tenancy rental agreement** (a deposit to hold a property, once it has been chosen)

A letting/selling agent should provide clear information about its fees, charges and holding deposits before you agree to take up a tenancy/sale.  Some letting/selling agents ask you to pay a holding deposit to reserve a particular property while they check references and prepare the tenancy/sale agreement. By paying a holding deposit you are committing to take up the tenancy/sale so that it is not let to someone else. Letting/sale agents must provide you with information about holding deposits and any other pre-tenancy/sale payments. This must be clear, accurate and not misleading. The letting agent should make clear if;  (for renting)
⦁ the holding deposit will be returned once you move in or if it will later be used as part of your tenancy deposit or rent in advance
Normally, your holding deposit is returned to you if the landlord decides not to let the property. If the holding deposit is used as part of your deposit for an assured short hold tenancy, this should be written on your “agreement to rent” form, when leaving the deposit.
⦁ to draw up tenacy rental agreements and an inventory of the property
⦁ carrying out credit checks
⦁ getting references from your employer, bank or previous landlord when necessary
⦁ real estate agency fees** see below..
⦁ administrative costs,….if no package, agreement or “Settling in/out Services Agreement” has been made between the letting agent/relocation agent and the future tenant, that is the renting out of an apartment for example with no other services, in certain cases, not all, a fee of 30 euros for the “registration on line” will be asked for on top of the normal agency fee.**     If you have agreed on a service agreement, (you will find this convenient, have a look at the “Service Agreement” in the “HOME” section) this of course will be paid by the tenant, ask us for information and we can supply a convenient quote for your necessities.

Most agents ask you to pay security deposits and the first month’s rent for the landlord(security deposits depend on the agreement and the type of contract) once you have signed up to the tenancy, The deposit gives your landlord protection against you leaving without paying your rent or for any damage you cause.

What letting agents cannot charge for;

A letting agency must not charge you for registering with it or to show you its list of properties. Visits also are free of charge. A letting agent must not charge you again from the 13th month of letting, of the same premises with the same landlord. Letting agents should not charge you for routine inspections done during your tenancy.

Fees and charges after you’ve moved in concerning the letting/relocation agent;
You might be asked to pay fees to the letting agent after you’ve moved in for:
⦁ renewing the tenancy agreement when the fixed term ends, IF less than 12 months (as mentioned above) that is approx. 10% of the total fee that remains/or the fraction of one month’s rent, depending on the rental contract and conditions at the moment of the signatures.
⦁ checking in and checking-out fees by the letting agent, (depending of which package you have signed up for and if you have signed or not the “Settling in/out Services Agreement), ask before you move in.

**Real Estate Agency Fees Commercial and Private;

The Italian real estate standard agency fees are as follows;
⦁ 1 month’s rental fee for the first and only 12 month period,  or 10 % of the total value of the rental contract plus vat.
⦁ In certain important/commercial properties the fee is between 12% / 15% of the total value of the rental contract plus vat.
⦁ When renewing the tenancy agreement when the fixed term ends, (this is ONLY in the case of monthly contracts less than 12 months with the SAME landlord), the remaining fee difference is to be paid again, that is, 10% plus vat of the new contract value. (in certain cases, only the difference of the initial value of one month’s rent.)
⦁ check-in/check-out fees including an inspection of the property when you move out are included in the “Settling in/out Services Agreement” if you have applied for this.
⦁ If you desire another home from the 13th month, you will pay the agency fee again….1 month’s rental fee value for the second year with another landlord, in another home. (In the case that you know you are staying 4 years, in the same place, and you have a 4 yr contract, you only pay the agency one time (one month’s rental value) for the whole period, that is, with the same owner.)

IMPORTANT
Remember it is very important that either the tenant or your agent closes all your utility accounts with the proper procedure and in time before you leave the country. The landlord will also require a registered, return mail, letter as proof that you have informed him of your intention to leave the property.
Generally speaking, properties are returned in the same condition as they are when you visit them.
That is “as is”. Should you be interested in making any changes, these should be agreed with the landlord before signing the contract. However you should consider that as a general rule, landlords are not willing to invest and spend money on properties that will be rented, unless they already undertook renovation work before your visit. So we suggest being very reasonable with the requests. We will be at your disposal to understand which requests could be considered excessive by the landlord.
We would like you to remember that as people we are all different. The rule applies to landlords as well, especially Italian landlords. A small issue for one landlord may be a big issue, and vice a versa.

A landlord in Italy is not obliged to supply the following;
Mosquitio nets
Alarm system
Air conditioners
Satellite dish
Power supply upgrade costs ………………

……………………………………………………………….at the bottom of this page a few FAQ questions may be helpful if you are still in doubt.

 

 

 

 

OTHER NOTES AND FAQ

OTHER

REAL ESTATE FEES, DUTY STAMPS AND REGISTRATION FEES/ VAT ON INVOICES

RESIDENTS ARE TO BE INFORMED THAT REAL ESTATE AGENCY FEE IN ITALY IS EQUIVALENT TO THE CONTRACT’S ONE MONTH’S AGREED RENT.

DUTY STAMPS HAVE TO BE PAID BY THE NEW TENANT, THAT IS 2 TO 4 DUTY STAMPS.   From 18 euros to 36.
REGISTRATION FEES ARE 50% EACH BETWEEN TENAT AND LANDLORD. If a landlord decides to use the new tax reduction system for himself, called the “cedolare secca”,  there are no registration costs for either party.
VAT ON INVOICES FOR AGENCY FEES HAVE AN ADDITIONAL 22% VAT FEE, on REQUEST, THIS IS ACCORDING TO THE ITALIAN RULE.

A RESIDENT HAS TO BE INFORMED THAT WHETHER A LANDLORD FORGETS  (OR DELAYS) TO REGISTER THE CONTRACT, HE IS ALLWAYS COMPLETELY PROTECTED BY THE LAW 100%.  THE RESIDENT CAN INSIST THAT THE CONTRACT BE REGISTERED AND ASKED FOR A REGISTERED RECEIPT FROM THE TAX OFFICE.

Q. IS THERE A VAST CHOICE OF FURNISHED AND UNFURNISHED PROPERTIES TO RENT?
– Our offices have the widest range of properties for rent and for sale.  An unfurnished apartment in Italy means literally that, and quite often the property will not  have kitchen or bathroom fixtures. A semi-furnished property will have a basic kitchen, possibly light fittings, and sometimes bathroom fixtures, and a furnished property, (most of the time) will have all of the necessary items, including kitchen ware and linen.  Though, items such as a dishwasher, clothes dryer and microwave are not common in every home Italy, these items can be asked for at the time of negotiating the contract. Air conditioners are not installed in all the homes, but there is definetly allways a washing machine.   The price range of the home you are choosing usually reflects what may be in the home or not, the more expensive, the more possibility that these appliances are present.

Q. ARE ITALIAN LANDLORDS FLEXIBLE WHEN IT COMES TO RENT AND PROPERTY CONTENTS?
– Property in Italy with a higher rental cost,  have landlords that normally do not feel obliged to bargain rental costs.    This is where your agent may be able to help you.
Asking the landlord for extra necessities (air cons, flyscreens, dryer etc) will only keep the rent at its same level. It is highly impossible that a landlord will agree to costly renovations or providing extra furniture/appliances, without trying to up the cost.   Our offices/personal agent will guide you through this process and include all that is required in the rental contract.

Q. MAY I SEE MORE THAN A COUPLE OF PROPERTIES TO RENT?
– When you sign on and start a procedure with our company, and re your decision to purchase a relocation package, service agreement, or merely rent a home, this decision will be taken. It will also depend on the availability at that moment according to your “wish list” . Of course there is no cost for the number of homes that are shown.        Yes…our agency has the the biggest choice of apartments and villas to choose from.

Q. DO I HAVE TO DECIDE QUICKLY IF I CHOOSE A PROPERTY?
– This is difficult to answer. It will depend on what you have chosen and the requests for that particular type of premises in that time period. A home may stand still for months, or may be rented out immediately it hits the market. When you are sure of your choice it is wise to make a offer to hold the property. You can risk waiting or miss out on something that you were previously sure about. Think clearly if you are sure and make the written offer with conditions that you are agreeing on. With this proposal, the person intending to rent leaves a one month’s holding deposit. The landlord in return, has up to 7 days in which to accept the proposal. When the landlord accepts the offer, the holding deposit paid will be deducted from the total amount that needs to be paid in order to move in, otherwise this deposit is returned to the client, (the latter rarely happens).

Q. WHAT ARE THE OVERALL FEES IN RENTING A PROPERTY? 
– Once the security deposits and the first month’s rent are paid, you can move in.   (Only in certain cases may 1 security deposit be accepted)  The contract will be signed by both parties at our offices (security deposits may be 1,2 or 3 times the amount of the monthly rent). Our offices will help you determine this with the landlord according to the value/other conditions of the home. Any holding deposit paid with the initial offer, will be deducted from the total amount to be paid.
Italian realtors take one month’s rent as their commission OR the equivalent of 10 – 12% of the total rent, that is for shorter periods. (VAT is not included in their commission, this is to be paid by the new tenant when the invoice is issued) – this depends on the city where the property is situated, the value of the premises and the duration of the contract. The landlord is obliged by Italian law to register the contract and the fee for doing this is paid equally between the landlord and the tenant. Government revenue stamps 16 euros each, also need to be paid for that are attached to the contract and these are paid by the tenant. The Italian Government has recently introduced a special “no registration fee” where the landlord can agree to pay a flat, minimal amount of tax, this will benefit you from any registration fees as specified above. This new type of tax is called the “cedolare secca” and concerns only the landlord. If the landlord is a company, this advantage cannot be used.

Q. ARE THERE ANY CONDOMINIUM FEES THAT HAVE TO BE PAID?
– If you live in an apartment building, you will also have to pay for condominium fees. This also depends on your initial offer, and agreement with the landlord, and/or if you have been given a monthly rental price that includes “condominium fees”. Sometimes it is included in the rent and if not, this amount is paid directly to the landlord/ building administrator. These charges cover the cost of maintenance of the building, lighting, cleaning and garden upkeep if applicable.  (garden upkeep may also be the tenant’s cost in certain cases, clarify this at the moment of the signatures)

Q. HOW DO YOU ASSIST ME AS A TENANT IN RENTING A PROPERTY? 
– Our services are to open a file with your contact details, and perfectly understand your “wishlist”, determine which package and which services you require. After you have visited properties and found one according to your needs, an offer is made to the landlord with the amount of one month’s rent. The landlord will accept or decline the offer, in the case it is accepted, we then proceed with the issuing of the formal legal binding rental contract. Both parties will be in agreement on all points before the contract can be signed (see our “Rental Contract Contents”  in the “HOME” section) All payments due must be paid and the landlord may not allow the tenant to enter or hand over keys to the property until they have received these payments.  Sometimes proof of payment such as a bank transfer receipt instead of cash is enough to obtain the keys of the property. Once the contract has been signed, it is the responsibility of the landlord to register it through our offices. If the property contract is in the name of a company, we prepare the contract, send it to the company in order to have it signed and follow a different process where the company produces a Chamber of Commerce Trade Certificate and the company’s legal representative’s identity documents. Once the contract has been signed by their legal representative, it is delivered to the landlord for the signatures.  According to which package or service you have requested, we will assist you with the “check in” on your first day on the premises. These contracts are then registered on line with the local tax office.   For the area of Brindisi our agency is renowed for the continuous services given to tenants/companies, that no other agency can compare.   We never “disappear”!

In our section “HOME”,  you will find more details on this subject, clicking on  “Service Agreement” / “Faq” / Relocation Services-Tenants / “Renting Homes in Italy” / “Rental Contract Contents” and “Renting Homes in Italy”.

Q. ARE SECURITY DEPOSITS GIVEN BACK WITH NO HASSLE IN ITALY? 
– The Italian rental contacts specifically states and you will sign….“I will return the property in the same state or better, as  received”. At the moment of your “check out”, that is the day in which you are returning the home to the landlord, an assessment is made with our help and assistance. Of course we can do our best in helping you acquire back your deposit, but that depends  on the home’s condition. Our same agent who carried out your “check in” will be able to fully assess any major problems that may be present and also act as a proper “arbiter”. One important note to remember is that if any “condensation” has been formed for the only reason of insufficient airing by the tenant, repainting is to be paid for. Ask our offices for a “pre check out” to help you leave your home in a correct manner to enable yourself the right for your security deposits back.   Under our care the landlord will return your security deposits if you follow the “pre check out” and “final check out” processes with us.

If you do not have the time for a proper last clean, (which is nearly allways the case) you can arrange with the landlord to leave  money for professional cleaning.   In our section on this site “CONDENSATION”, you will also find more details on this subject.

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REAL ESTATE AGENCY FEES WHEN BUYING

 

The real estate agency fee:

In Italy both the buyer and the seller pay a fee to the estate agents at a rate of usually 3% of the purchase price. The real estate agency charges the regular rate of 3% with a minimum of 3.000 Euro, plus VAT (22%)

The notary fee:

The notary fee is usually between 1.000,00 / 1.200,00 euro; The notary fee has to be paid by the buyer.

Real Estate Agency fees amount to 3% of the selling price for the sale of a home.  Both parties pay this amount.  You will have to pay the notary office, and this is according to the value of the home,  we will guide you through this process for any home you choose to purchase.   If this is a first home acquisition, there is only 2 % fee.

Agency fees are not refundable

Buying Homes in Italy – Certificato di Agibilità

Certificate of use and occupancy (Certificato di Agibilità)

Before signing the final deed of sale, the vendor is obliged to release a certain number of documents, some of which are mandatory for a successful completion.

One of these documents is the so called “Certificato di Agibilità” (certificate of.use.and.occupancy).
Whilst in case other documents are missing the Notary cannot allow the parties to complete, if this document is missing the parties can still complete and register.the.final.deed.of.sale.
The Notary will possibly just write in the final deed of sale (Contratto di Compravendita) that the “Certificato di Agibilità”(certificate of use and occupancy) is just missing. The completion will be valid!

However there are some implication in case you do not have this kind of certificate. The “Certificato di Agibilità” is a document attesting the existence of the safety, hygiene, health and energy conservation of a property. Without this document then, you cannot have the certainties described above.

In case you have not carried out a survey before your purchase and such a certificate is not released from the vendor, your lawyer might give you some advice or suggestion on the best way to proceed.

In any case what you need to know at this stage is that even without this certificate the Notary will not stop the completion to go ahead.

The most important news regarding this matter is that the High Court has recently stated that the purchaser can refuse to sign the final deed of sale if the certificate of use and occupancy (Certificato di Agibilità) is missing. This important decision has a significant consequence. The purchaser in fact can refuse to complete by not incur in any responsibility for non-fulfillment of the contract. Therefore the Vendor cannot accuse the purchaser by keeping the deposit that the purchaser has possibly already transferred to him.

Moreover it needs to be stressed that, given the failure of the seller to produce the documents required, the buyer can still demand performance if he is still interested to buy the property. Alternatively he can ask for the termination of the contract. In any case, he can claim compensation for damages suffered due to the breach of contractual obligations.

In addition, real estate lawyers offer legal advice and representation for developers and property managers in all areas involving land use and zoning, environmental litigation and due diligence and homeowner association law.

If you need to have some more information do not hesitate to contact our offices.