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Italian property law: how it works and why to rely on an italian real estate lawyer

Palmigiano Law Firm: why choose one of our Italian real estate lawyers

Palmigiano Law Firm is a dynamic law firm founded in 1954 in Palermo, Sicily, keeping abreast of changes in the legal world whilst fully respecting its traditions and roots. Today, Palmigiano Law Firm is able to offer specialized advice and know-how in Italian property law thanks to the expertise of its Italian real estate lawyers.

The real estate law attorneys team can assist International clients providing independent advice both in English and in French. Particularly, our activities include:

  • a complete end-to-end conveyancing service;
  • examination of contracts and / or other legal documents;
  • explaining their implications and advising on the best way to proceed;
  • complete guidance to cross-border inheritance law and the legal consequences of the transfer of real estates;
  • practical advice on issues such as transfer of funds;
  • third party contracts;
  • life and property insurance and obtaining Italian codice fiscale;
  • expertise in dealing with foreign powers of attorney.

If you want to learn more about the Italian property law because you need an Italian real estate lawyer, contact us by e-mail or call at telephone number through our contact page.

How do our Italian real estate lawyers act?

The first step of our real estate law attorneys is to check the legal status and owner details of the properties, with the assistance of a local notary. You must ensure the seller has the right to sell the property and no mortgages, third party rights or charges are outstanding. An Italian lawyer will arrange the necessary planning searches with the local authorities and land registry, and ultimately produce a written document of qualification.

A local surveyor report will assist the buyer in confirming the following regarding the property:

  • Meets the applicable local planning, building and land registry regulations, alongside any relevant document on consent/building plan as issued by the local authority;
  • Suitable for human habitation with a certificate issued to that effect;
  • The vendor is compliant with the relevant tax regulations and filing of tax returns and payment of income tax and council tax including other taxes or charges brought forward from the previous tax years;
  • In case the vendor is a trader, commercial entrepreneur, or a company, it is ascertained that the vendor is not declared bankrupt, the business compulsorily wound up, and there are no pending applications against the vendor or his Italian company as may be deemed applicable;
  • For property that is amongst a block of flats the service charges due for payment should have been paid and up to date;
  • In situations where the property is connected to an agricultural land, it must be ensure that the tenants or neighbours do not have farming pre-emption rights, or any third party rights over the use of the property.

In the offices of a local public notary all parties sign the preliminary contract, a binding legal document, stating the completion of the property purchase at a future date. It is generally recommended that you seek the assistance of an Italian real estate lawyer before signing the preliminary contract, as this is a complex legal document and by signing commits you to purchase the property at the agreed price.

The foreign buyer should ensure the following details are properly stipulated in the contract:

  • Clearly defines in detail the property being sold with reference to all the parcel numbers indicated, according to the relevant Local Land Registry. An attachment of the sold property’s scale plan should also be attached to the contract;
  • The amount paid as deposit should be clearly stated alongside the receipts for all the payments made. The actual property price and the agreed price should also be shown;
  • The unconditional commitment by the vendor towards the sale of property on the specified date should be clearly stated with all the doubts and reservations eliminated from the legally binding document;
  • Any kind of dealings where the property is involved, such as existing mortgage, third party rights, or any other problem identified in the process of documentation, searches and/or surveys as submitted by the vendor, should be clearly outlined;
  • To be included also are the formal sworn statements and all the necessary details as required under the recent legislation issued in August 2006, for the protection of both the buyer and the vendor.

In order to avoid attracting penalties, the original Italian Energy Performance should be attached to the preliminary contract to be signed by both parties involved.

Why do you need an italian real estate lawyer to professionally handle this legal business?

It is always very important to scrutinise all documentation and search reports by an Italian real estate lawyer, as the vendor might be reluctant to deal with issues covered under the terms of the preliminary contract at a future date. Furthermore, given the nature of legal proceedings in Italy, future legal proceedings will be expensive and time consuming. Problems detected before the contract is signed may result in re-negotiation of the contract, or cancellation, since there is no legally binding contract or deposit made. If you will have a mortgage a binding mortgage agreement will need to be arranged or an irrevocable offer needs to have been formally accepted before the actual signing of the preliminary contract. If legal or practical problems occur, always set a specific timeframe for these to be rectified before signing.

To complete the purchase process, the purchase deed will be drafted at the local notary office, as well as the registration, execution and payment of Italian taxes.

The foreign buyer will be given a certified copy of the purchase deed by the appointed Italian notary. The sealed, certified copy of the purchase deed should be collected from the notary’s office within a period of two to three months after completion, and all taxes paid. The vendor should use the form available at the notary’s office to give a formal notice of sale to the local police authorities. New utility contracts can be initiated, such as the requests for the provision of power, gas, water, etc. In case the facility is within a block of flats then the condonium manager should be notified of the new property owners.

As you can understand, the Italian property law is a complex subject that has to manage just by specialized professionals. It is the reason why Palmigiano Law Firm is made up of only specialized Italian real estate lawyers to give the best legal assistance and advice to the foreign sellers or buyers that need an Italian real estate attorney.

Contact us by e-mail or at our telephone number: we will reply as soon as possible!