Q. What is the role of an Italian Notary public (Notaio) in Italian property transactions?
A. Italian notaries are public officers who play an official role in Italian conveyance. Property transfer contracts must be signed in front of a notary. As public officers, Italian notaries conduct formal document checks as well as confirm the identities of the purchasing and selling parties. Also, notaries check the parties' resepctive powers and entitlement to be part of the transaction.
Notaries also have the duty to calculate the taxes applicable to the transaction, to collect them from the parties on on completion (closing) and timely pay them on behalf of the parties.
After the signature, the notary files the property title with the local Land registry ("Conservatoria"). After such filing, the transaction is officially public.
Once the taxes have been paid and the title deed has been filed with the Conservatoria, the notary keeps the original on his books and makes available true copies for the parties.
Common practice holds that the notary is chosen and paid by the buyer. An important point to remember is that the notary is an Italian officer fulfilling an official role and does not work on behalf of the buyer or the seller, but serves as a neutral party.
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