Real estate law


Our large real estate practice includes acquisition, development, financing, sale and leasing of real estate in Italy.
Our Italian-qualified lawyers have unique hands-on experience in the following areas:

  • Sale and purchase of real-estate in Italy;
  • Condominium forms of ownership;
  • Italian taxation of real estate and
  • The regulation of land use and the structuring of real estate partnerships.

We frequently assist in negotiating complex real estate transactions, as well as handling the legal analysis and documentation.

Our working languages in the area of Real-Estate Law are: Italian, English, German, Russian, Spanish and Greek.

Buzz topic: Buying or selling a property in Italy
Buying or selling a property in Italy is a complex issue which usually involves several professionals. There are generally three stages in the sale/purchase of a property in Italy:

  1. The Sale Offer (“Propostale Irrevocabile di Acquisto”);
  2. The Preliminary Sale Contract (“Compromesso” or “Contratto Preliminare”);
  3. The final Purchase Deed (“Rogito Notarile”), which is signed before an Italian Public Notary.

1. The Sale Offer (“Propostale Irrevocabile di Acquisto”):
The first stage consists in drafting a written offer (Sale Offer) which is signed by the interested buyer aimed at removing the property from the market for a certain period of time (expressly agreed by the parties). The Sale Offer is accompanied by a cheque (which amounts to a small percentage of the offered price) that is taken in deposit by the Real Estate Agency (if any) or consigned to the seller. Even if this Sale Offer does not oblige the parties to finalize the final purchase deed, the buyer needs to pay great attention before signing the Sale Offer given that this agreement may produce legal effects.

2. The Preliminary Sale Contract
It is important to specify that it is not obligatory to sign the Sale Offer. It is possible to skip this first stage and to sign directly the Preliminary Sale Contract, which is a proper purchase agreement. Even though the Preliminary Contract does not have the effect of transferring the ownership of the property, it is necessary to carry out the preliminary investigations of the property before signing it, since it has many legal binding effects between the parties. For example, Italian Courts have argued that the Real Estate Agencies are entitled to receive their commissions when a Preliminary Contract is signed, even if the final contract is not finalized. The Preliminary Contract must be registered at the competent Italian Tax Office and this registration requires the pre-payment of a part of the State Taxes: the amount of Taxes paid when registering the Preliminary Contract will be deducted from the total at the signing of the final Deed in front of an Italian Notary.

After having signed the Preliminary Contract, it is necessary to make a due diligence (legal and technical) of the property in order to verify whether it complies with the legal/technical/structural requirements as established by Italian State and Municipal relevant regulation. Our Staff includes a surveyor who is entrusted with producing a technical report on the property.

3. The Final Purchase Deed
The Final Purchase Deed must be signed in front of an Italian Public Notary (the sole professional authorized to legalize it). Your physical presence is not required. We may act on your behalf through a PoA (Power of Attorney) which allows us to sign the agreement. The same applies to the Sale Offer and the Preliminary Sale Contract (see above).

Our services consist in:

  • PHASE 1 – Negotiating and drafting Sale Offer
    1. Negotiation of the price of the property;
    2. Negotiation of the Real Estate Agent’s fees;
    3. Drafting of the Sale Offer and collecting both seller’s and buyer’s signatures and
    4. Meeting with the Seller, if needed.
  • PHASES 2 and 3 – These phases will be carried out upon the condition that the negotiation process (Phase 1) has been completed successfully.
    1. General advice to you about who should be made the legal owner of the property to minimise tax and inheritance problems in Italy.
    2. Obtaining a tax identification code which is required in relation to any purchase of property;
    3. Advice about your liability to Italian taxes and other expenses in connection with the sale;
    4. Drafting a Purchase Offer and/or drafting a Preliminary Contract and/or approving a Contract supplied by the buyer;
    5. Pointing out any problems shown by the supplied documentation – or the lack of it;
    6. Pointing out any further enquiries we think you should make;
    7. Updating you with the results of our enquiries concerning the purchase generally;
    8. Arranging for the completion of the purchase by the signing of the Title Deed (“Rogito”) in front of an Italian Notary Public;
    9. Liaison throughout with estate agents, developers, lawyers (if the Seller has instructed lawyers), the notary, tax office, public property registers etc.
    10. Instructing our surveyor who will be appointed to survey the property and to draft a Technical Report;
    11. Sorting out any defects in the title, complex planning issues, pre-emption issues or protracted negotiations;
    12. Assistance in opening a bank account in Italy;
    13. Arranging for buildings and contents insurance;
    14. Dealing with the Notary to arrange for the final searches to be carried out to ensure that the property is sold free of debts and charges;
    15. Approving the draft of the Title Deed (“Rogito”) supplied by the Notary;
    16. Dealing with the Notary to arrange for the registration of your title at the Italian Land Registry;
    17. Liaison throughout with estate agents, developers, lawyers (if the Seller has instructed lawyers), the notary, tax office, public property registers etc.
    18. Instructing our surveyor who will be appointed to survey the property and to draft a Technical Report;
    19. Sorting out any defects in the title, complex planning issues, pre-emption issues or protracted negotiations;
    20. Assistance in opening a bank account in Italy and
    21. Arranging for buildings and contents insurance;

The contents of this page should not be taken as an authoritative statement of Italian law and practice. Neither the author nor the publisher are responsible for the results of actions taken on the basis of information contained in this summary, nor for any errors or omissions. This text is not intended to render legal, accounting or tax advice. Readers are encouraged to seek professional advice concerning specific matters before making any decision.


  1. Luisa Pavan says:

    The purcheser wants to move in before the signing of the Deed/Rogito, as in asap. In an email from one of the co owners she tells me the bank agrees and the solicitor is happy to proceed. How does this affect settlement is this something that happens a lot?

    Iam not these as Iam coming in only when it’s time to sign.

    Should I see some documentation before agreeing?

    How does this process work? Is it something included in the contract?

    How do all parties have legal protection?

    Kind regards

    • Michele Ambrogio says:

      Ciao Luisa
      purchasing a property in Italy is a complex process and involves a lot of legal and technical issues.
      Please write and send us papers/documents such as Purchase Deed, Land Register Extract and all the other papers you have (if any) and we will provide you our legal opinion on the matter
      ILF Italian Law Firm

  2. miriam chiera says:

    Buon pomeriggio, voglio comprare una proprietà in Italia.
    Mi piacerebbe sapere come vengono pagate le tasse nel settore immobiliare in Italia, che le tasse vengono pagate una volta a mio nome.
    Comprendo che la notazione costa l’1% del valore di acquisto, la commissione dell’agente immobiliare è compresa tra il 2% e il 3% del valore di acquisto. Ma so che l’iscrizione alla registrazione viene pagata sul valore del catasto, non so a cosa si riferisce, se è il pagamento di un tributo solo una volta che scrivo la proprietà a mio nome o è una tassa annuale? Raccolgo tutte le informazioni possibili. grazie mille!!

  3. Hashem Boushehri says:

    I am from Kuwait.. And I am searching for real estate for my family

    Please contact me

  4. Colin millin says:

    My wife sold a property near Dogliani italy 7 months ago. The new owners have now come back to us requesting 3000 euros to repair a boundary wall, what are our rights

  5. giannina ramirez says:

    Por favor cual es la ley del agente inmobiliario en italia?

    • Michele Ambrogio says:

      Dear Giannina,
      in what sense? do you mean the amount of the Real Estate Agent Commission?

  6. J Z says:

    If partners in SLR companies enter into certain agreement with respect of the responsibilities of each party, does the agreement need to be registered / notorised within 3 days for the Agreement to be enforceable in the Italian Cour of Law, otherwise the Agreement will be null and void. Appreciate your kind guidance. Thanks

    • Michele Ambrogio says:

      Dear Jamal,
      A private agreement between shareholders (of an SRL) must ot be registered or notarized.. by the way with a registration of the agreement, in case you need to enforce it you will have the certain date of the signing. By the way please write us for further details.

  7. Paul Garrett says:

    I wonder if you mat be able to help me.
    My wife and I jointly own a house in Puglia, Italy which we have had for 9 years.
    We are now in the process of separating and have mutually agreed that the house in Italy will become mine. I intend to use this as my main house and will move there permanently later this year.
    The title deeds are in both of our names and we need to remove my wife from the deed. My wife does not wish to travel to Italy if she does not need to.
    I have been in touch with a Solicitor in Italy who has quoted me 5000 euros which i thought was a quite lot to pay.

    Could you tell me if this is the type of work that you do and whether this figure is what someone would expect to pay for this type of work.?

    Kind Regards Paul Garrett.

    • Michele Ambrogio says:

      Dear Paul,
      in case you want to become the sole Landlord of a property, you would need to sign an act in front of a Public Notary. In any case we will write to you in private to give you more details.

  8. john says:

    Hi, I have a quick question regarding two houses we inherited in Italy near Foggia several years ago. My sister and I own two houses with our other two siblings. The other two siblings refuse to buy our portions, sell theirs, or pay any of the related bills on these properties so that we either have to pay them, or let the government take them. Is there any legal recourse that could resolve this terrible matter? Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *