Italian real estate law

Italian real estate law


Italian Real Estate Legal Service Introduction

We represent non-Italians in Italian Real Estate matters throughout Italy.

We follow a strict ethic code and stringently avoid any situation of conflict of interest. This is one of our founding principles which has allowed us to gain respect and establish its reputation over the past 130 years of practice.

Engaging Studio Legale Metta typically results in the client saving more through the firm’s guidance (i.e., tax reductions, time and cost effective strategies) than is spent in legal fees. Clients are in direct contact with bilingual Italian licensed lawyers based in Italy and in the US.

We offer assistance on demand, and comprehensive legal assistance packages under flat or capped fees agreed in advance.

Through our assistance, Clients can complete any real estate transaction smoothly, without the need to be present in Italy and without the involvement of the Italian Consulate.

Here is the list of some of our popular Legal Service Packages followed by the typical included activities and an indication of our terms of engagement:


Italian Property Purchase

1) Consultation with Client to review personal circumstances of establish a customized course of action and transaction structure;

2) Review, advise and amend reservation form, purchase offer, preliminary purchase agreement (contratto preliminare di compravendita – compromesso) according to Client’s specific personal needs;

3) Mediate with vendor/seller, owner and agent to collect information pertaining to owner, vendor/seller, property disclosure information;

4) Background check on the owner/seller/vendor (e.g., financial constraints, bankruptcy);

5) Title check regarding mortgages (ipoteca), liens, easements, right of way, right of first refusal or other third-party rights on property;

6) Review of building and planning permission compliance;

7) Estimate transaction costs;

8) Draft a customized due diligence report for buyer prior to completion which details transaction terms, legal implications and recommended course of action up to completion;

9) Assist buyer in formalization and execution of the purchase offer or preliminary purchase contract;

10) Ensure a safe and secure payment of deposit without need to be physically present (via email or post);

11) Provide advice on tax reduction options regarding transfer taxes;

12) Represent buyer’s interests through mediation with Notary public also regarding personal information, marital status and estate planning;

13) Provide information and legal advice regarding default Italian law applicable to Italian property purchase when buyer is married and alternative options;

14) Assist with transaction payment information to involved parties, including notary;

15) Mediate with notary regarding final purchase contract (atto definitivo);

16) Represent Client on completion;

17) Receive funds from Client and arrange payments on behalf of Client without the need for the Client to open an Italian bank account;

18) Advise regarding mandatory annual local taxes (IMU, TASI, TARI) and annual payments;

19) Advice regarding capital gains tax in case of property resale;

20) Advice regarding Italian will -vs.- home country will.

Italian Property Purchase Tips
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Italian Mortgage

We have successfully assisted many foreign investors, including American and Canadian citizens, obtaining a mortgage in Italy to buy an Italian property. We would be glad to review your case circumstances and your goals and advise you accordingly.

We will provide you mortgage options, details of brokers who might offer the right loan based on your specific needs, property purchase requirements, tax and estate planning implications. We will also assist you throughout the entire process from the selection of the bank, to mortgage pre-approval, to mortgage approval and final signing.

Below is a list of some of the activities we typically carry out:

  1. Profile Client and advice regarding pre-approval;
  2. Advise Client re Loan To Value (LTV) ratio based on profile;
  3. Advise Client re strategies to increase LTV ratio;
  4. Liaise with mortgage broker for pre-approval;
  5. Provide mortgage broker with information regarding the property and the involved parties;
  6. Liaise with mortgage bank surveyor (appraiser) for property inspection, survey report draft and fee payment;
  7. Liaise with bank and assist Client re Italian bank account;
  8. Liaise with bank and assist Client re home owners insurance;
  9. Liaise with Italian notary public re title check report for mortgage bank;
  10. Liaise with the Italian notary public to assess mortgage taxes and stamp duties related to mortgage deed;
  11. Liaise with mortgage broker to arrange money transfer to borrower and/or other beneficiaries (e.g., vendor);
  12. Mediate with notary public regarding mortgage deed content and formalization.

Book a Consultation to assess your profile, discuss options and get valuable advice regarding the most cost effective course of action.

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Italian Property Sale

1) Consultation with the client to review personal needs and expectations and to advise about recommended course of action;

2) Assist Client prepare the “seller disclosure“, e.g., identify Italian property rights and obligations as per the title, outline liability limitations as per existing property conditions;

3) General advice on standard duties and obligations on Client under the Italian law (e.g., property record and building permit compliance, energy efficiency certificate, habitability requirements, condominium cost disclosure, systems status, mortgage cancellation);

4) Review, advise and amend the purchase offer or the preliminary purchase-sale agreement (contratto preliminare di compravendita or compromesso) according to the Client’s specific personal needs, prior to signing;

5) Draft a customized report for the Client which details transaction terms, legal implications and recommended course of action up to completion;

6) Provide basic advice on tax duties regarding the property sale;

7) Estimate transaction costs on the Client, if any, and optimization options;

8) Liaise with buyer and real estate agent to collect information pertaining to the buyer;

9) Assist the Client providing the buyer with property details recorded in Italian public registries;

10) Assist the Client providing the buyer with planning permission(s) and related documents;

11) Assist the Client providing the buyer with the evidence of Client’s right and power to sell the property;

12) Assist the Client in execution and formalization of preliminary purchase-sale agreement for signature and exchange with other party;

13) Ensure a safe receipt of deposit payment or of sale price balance upon completion/closing without need for the Client to be physically present;

14) Represent the Client’s interests through mediation with notary public also regarding personal information and marital legal status;

15) Mediate with notary public regarding final sale contract (atto definitivo);

16) Represent Client on completion;

17) Receive and distribute proceeds on behalf of Client without the need for the Client to open an Italian bank account;

18) Advice regarding capital gains tax, if applicable, and optimization options;

19) Advice regarding mandatory annual local tax duties (IMU, TASI, TARI) and payments due until completion/closing;

20) Collect soft certified and registered sale deed from notary office and deliver to Client.

Italian Property Purchase Tips
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Italian Property Management

We assist clients in managing their Italian property from abroad. We efficiently handle property management matters involving utility suppliers, condo associations, property taxes, and homeowners insurance. Our service features an escrow account options so that the owner does not require an Italian bank account.

Additionally, we assist B&B property owners to find, hire and manage local help to handle day-to-day short term rental activities, like guests check-in and check-out, cleaning, etc.

Our virtual service keeps clients organized and up-to-date with direct online access to all documents regarding the management of their Italian property. We offer individual services as well as packages of services to address each client’s needs.

Key property management services are:

1) Management of Bills: receive and pay bills from a dedicated Italian bank account;

2) Property Taxes: calculate and pay property taxes, assess and address past taxes;

3) Utility Suppliers: utility activation, provider switch, user switch, account termination, assess and address past taxes;

4) Homeowners Insurance: advise client on policy options, activate policy, pay premiums;

5) Condo Association Communications: receive communications in Italian and provide English summaries, liaise with association, address payments and renovation work;

6) Mortgage Payments: work with bank to set up and manage payment plans, address any back payments;

7) Renovation Work Payments: manage bills and payment, liaise with accountant for tax credits as applicable;

8) B&B set up and management: compliance (licensing, city tax account, guests passport reporting account, Italian tax return, etc.) and find, hire and manage local handler for day-to-day short term rental activities (guests check-in and check-out, cleaning, etc.).

If you’re interested in this service, please fill out this form.


Italian Real Estate Transfer by Gift (Donation)

1) Consultation with Client to review personal needs, goals and expectations with respect to the transaction;

2) Advise re gift (donation) –vs- life interest transfer, estate planning and succession implications;

3) Review title and advice re common tenancy;

4) Gather personal information of all parties;

5) Clear the parties in compliance with Italian Anti-Money Laundering regulation;

6) Select, appoint and instruct Italian notary regarding closing arrangements and final purchase contract (atto definitivo);

7) Advice regarding capital gains tax in case of property sale;

8) Advice regarding Italian will -vs- home country will;

9) Review draft gift deed from notary prior to closing;

10) Draft a customized Final Transaction Report summarizing conclusive relevant information regarding the transaction and municipal tax obligations as an Italian property owner.

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Italian Real Estate Transfer by Separation or Divorce

1) Consultation with Client to review Client’s personal needs and expectations, retrieve personal information and advise about recommended course of action;

2) Review draft and/or final separation and/or divorce settlement and Court order;

3) Review owner’s title;

4) Advice re possible Italian transfer tax reduction entitlement;

5) Advise re amendments to settlement terms and/or Court order;

6) Consult Italian notary public re transaction structure and action plan;

7) Acquire estimate from local notary and provide Client with total estimate transaction costs;

8) Select, appoint and instruct local surveyor for Energy Efficiency Certificate;

9) Receive funds on SLM bank account dedicated to Clients’ funds;

10) Handle payments on behalf of Client, e.g., to notary, real estate transfer taxes, surveyor etc.;

11) Represent Client’s interests through mediation with Italian notary public (notaio), including Client’s personal information and legal status;

12) Instruct notary regarding completion terms and transaction structure;

13) Draft two Power of Attorney documents (PoAs) in English (one for transferor and one for transferee) as per Client’s specific needs;

14) Send English draft PoAs to Client via email along with advice for international formalization outside of Italy without involvement of Italian Consulate;

15) Complete PoA formalization and validation in Italian Court under oath;

16) Prepare Italian legal translation of foreign separation/divorce documents for transfer tax exemption;

17) Arrange completion meeting, go to notary office for completion meeting and make payments on behalf of Client;

18) Collect and send to Client soft registered title copy;

19) Apply for property share transfer tax reduction under separation/divorce exemption rule;

20) Monitor tax office feedback on tax reduction application and follow up with Client re funds refund.

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Termination of Joint-Ownership

(Italian Partition Claim – Scioglimento della comunione)

1) Consultation with Client to review Client’s goals and expectations;

2) Review title and case circumstances;

3) Advise Client about recommended course of action (e.g., full joint sale, share sale, amicable settlement, Mediation, Court Dispute);

4) Carry out next activities on behalf of Client up to joint-ownership termination.

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Additional Legal Services Regarding Italian Real Estate Matters

1) Italian tax code (codice fiscale);

2) In person representation at completion;

3) Assistance preparing and formalizing a Power of Attorney (Procura) overseas to be used in Italy;

4) Certified legal translations (e.g., contracts, deeds, certificates, technical reports);

5) International legalization of documents, including Apostille seal;

6) Assistance obtaining an Italian mortgage loan (mutuo);

7) Assistance opening an Italian bank account with cheque (check) book and online banking;

8) Assistance regarding property insurance, security system, maintenance agreements, property bill management, short term rental business, Italian tax return etc.

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Terms of Business and Legal Fees

We like to meet clients where they are, in other words, we offer many ways to get our assistance because we know that not everyone has the same needs or budget.  With that in mind, we have several options for those in the property purchase process, whether you’re just starting the search or you’re ready to put in an offer but want some peace of mind.

Consultations – book as many as you like. It’s a stand alone meeting with no commitment beyond that. It’s a great option for people who want to get some guidance up front and that’s it, or who might want expert advice periodically but don’t want full support throughout their property purchase.

Speed Dial’ Assistance – no commitment, on demand support.  This is, for example, for people who would feel more comfortable having a real estate Italian lawyer on their side during the property hunting stage. We refer to it as our “speed dial” option, in which you can contact us, as needed, while you consider possible properties to buy. Basically, you pay a flat fee and we do up to 3 hours of work within 12 months, on things like document review, advice via email or phone consultation, emails and phone calls with third parties like mortgage brokers, sellers, notaries, realtor, surveyors (geometra), etc., to discuss your requests/needs, etc.

Express Due Diligence – this is for those DIY people. If you’re almost ready to sign an Italian property purchase offer and want an independent expert to review all transaction details before signing on the dotted line, our Express Due Diligence is a good option to have a real estate lawyer review the specifics and advise you. The main difference between our Express Due Diligence (EDD) service and our Property Purchase Plans (PPP) is that, in the EDD, you are able to do a lot of work on your own, in terms of collecting documents and information from the seller, real estate agent, etc., uploading that information in our intake form, and then having us do the due diligence based on that information and those documents. 

Property Purchase Services and Plans – this option offers the most support but still gives you plenty of ways to customize it. You can choose individual legal services or go with a Service Plan that bundles multiple activities if it’s more economical. You can select individual legal services for a flat or capped fee. Additionally, we offer packages and Service Plans including activities that are typically provided together for a reduced flat or capped fee. When a capped fee is established, fees are charged for the time actually spent on the matter up to a pre-established capped fee. For example, if the time spent on the case generates a fee that is lower than the capped fee, we will only bill the lower fee based on time. Conversely, should the accrued fee based on time be higher than the capped fee, the client will only pay the capped fee.

Terms and Conditions might vary over time and in accordance with particular case circumstances. You can contact our team to describe your needs and we will recommend the best options for your specific case scenario.


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Book a Consultation below of 30, 45 or 60 minutes.  During the consultation, you can discuss legal, tax and estate planning implications of your transaction and we will provide you with valuable advice accordingly.

Or use the contact form below to reach out for more information and guidance about the options above.

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