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Buying a home in Italy

Buying a property in Italy

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Renting Italian Property

While you are looking for housing you will learn that there are no hard and fast rules about the condition and appearance of apartments and villas.
You may be lucky enough to find the property you like in perfect condition. On the other hand, an otherwise suitable housing solution might need some attention. The tenant is usually expected to clean and paint the property, either as he moves into the property or when he moves out. In any case, at the end of the contract, the property must be returned to the owner in the condition in which it was handed over.

It should be noted that property owners almost always require a minimum rental period of one year although in Milan, at times, it can be possible to find an apartment for six months. This means that someone requiring housing for a period of less than six months to one year must stay in a Residence or serviced residence hotel where suites with kitchenette may be rented on a monthly basis. In Rome and Tuscany there is a short term rental market.

Besides the Rental Cost (l’affitto), another cost to keep in mind when looking for an apartment is the Condominium Expenses (spese). These generally include cleaning and maintenance of the building; central heating; water supply; the cost of running and maintaining the elevator; the porter’s salary; gardening charges (if any), etc. These condominium expenses are variable, depending on the size, age and condition of the building, the type of heating used, and the number of tenants among whom they are divided. The administrator of the building draws up a forecast of what the yearly expenses are expected to be, and these estimated expenses, broken down into appropriate payment periods, are paid in advance with the rental payment. At the end of the administrative year the forecast will be compared with the actual costs and the tenant will be expected to pay the difference if the costs are higher, or will be given a credit if they are lower.

In the case of rental of a villa (free-standing or attached house), there are usually no condominium expenses, unless the villa is located in a gated complex with porter, has private streets to be maintained and lighted, or other similar common charges.

Utilities: (telephone, gas, electricity) are always paid by the occupant according to consumption. They are separate contracts, with the utility companies and are not included in rental agreements.

Garbage tax: The occupant of an apartment or villa must register at his/her Municipal Tax Office for the subscription to the trash/garbage removal service. The cost is calculated on the basis of a formula which takes into account the number of square meters occupied, and the number of persons living in the property. The bill is sent to the tenant on a yearly or six months basis.

Cost of Living Increase: Rental amounts are increased each year by a small percentage. The percentage of increase is established annually by the "ISTAT" report (government issued cost of living index).

Unfurnished property in Italy is just that: empty walls, ceilings and floors! So do not expect to find the kitchen already installed as is common in some countries. Semi-furnished properties do exist, and will typically have the kitchen and some wardrobe closets installed. Furnished housing is relatively complete. However, it usually does not include bed linens, towels, plates, cutlery, pots or pans.

Most Italian properties are not equipped with air-conditioning, clothes driers, or microwave ovens.

If you are planning to rent a furnished or semi-furnished property you should know that according to the Civil Code the tenant is responsible for ordinary repairs and maintenance of the property and its contents and the owner is responsible for major repairs.

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