This guide aims to clarify the key aspects of house conveyancing in Italy. According to the law there are not evident restrictions concerning foreign ownership.

EU/EEA Citizens

Citizens from the European Union (EU) and from the European Economic Area (EEA) can buy a property in Italy by complying with the same procedures applied to Italians.

NON-EU/EEA Citizens

Those who live outside the EU or the EEA areas are allowed to buy a property in Italy, as long as there is a mutual agreement between Italy and their country of origin whereby Italian citizens can buy there too.

UK Citizens

UK nationals can buy a property or land in Italy, whether or not they live here.

If you were living in Italy before 1 January 2021

To purchase a property, UK citizens do not need a non-EU national residency permit (permesso di soggiorno). They may be asked to prove they have rights under the Withdrawal Agreement. This can be done by providing an EU residency document such as:

  • EU residency document (attestato di soggiorno)

  • EU permanent residency document (attestazione di soggiorno permanente)

  • EU residency certificate (certificato di residenza)

Conversely, documents issued under the Withdrawal Agreement can be also be provided such as:

  • Residency document issued under the Withdrawal Agreement (attestazione di iscrizione anagrafica)

  • Biometric residency card issued under the Withdrawal Agreement (carta di soggiorno elettronica)

Requirements to open up an Italian bank account:

  1. ID (e.g., Passport).

  2. Italian Fiscal Code.

  3. Anti Money Laundering (AML) compliance.

Depending on the bank, the opening of a non-resident bank account varies. Italian banks offer a full range of services equivalent to those offered to Italian citizens. The assistance of a lawyer is not required by any Italian bank.

Due diligence on a property

Before buying a property, its legal status and technical aspect must be known. A due diligence report aims to ascertain whether or not a property is in compliance with the regulations. The technical aspect consists of a compendium of documents filed at the Town Hall, the Land Registry Office and at the Cadastre. The energy performance certificate must also be included in the report. When a property is owned by a company or by a legal entity, the chamber of commerce certificate and the balance sheets are also required.

Estate Agency in Italy

Real estate agents in Italy must be licensed by the chamber of commerce and covered by a liability insurance. A real estate agent is not required to undertake any legal or technical check (due diligence) concerning listed properties, nevertheless he/she must disclose information to the buyer according to the code of ethics. Failure at performing the above could result in a contractual liability and trigger end-user’s rights. Fees arise as early as at the preliminary contract and they are charged on each party up to 4%.

Purchase proposal

It consists of a formal offer that includes a 15% account payee cheque held in escrow by the agent. Should the seller accept the offer, the agreement is legally binding and the cheque turns as earnest downpayment. Should one of the parties back out, an escape clause arises and the agreement terminates. Otherwise, the parties can move to an intermediate step known as the preliminary contract, or schedule the deed of sale.

Preliminary contract

It aims to prevent both parties from making a similar arrangement (at a later stage) with a third party. The preliminary contract highlights details such as:

  • Parties’ identities

  • Selling price

  • Downpayment

  • Floor-plan

  • Cadastral data

  • Building permit, habitability certificate, ownership certificate

  • Date of the Deed of sale

The preliminary contract compels both the seller and the buyer to sign the deed of sale. It also details the parties’ mutual obligations that must be fulfilled before the handover of the property. Usually, it is claimed in case of:

  • A significant downpayment

  • A long time before the deed of sale

  • A default-risk seller

Albeit the preliminary contract is a private agreement, it should be drawn up by a Notary and registered at the Land Registry Office. As a result, it becomes legally binding for both the seller and the buyer as well as unassailable by third parties. A 0,5% of the downpayment is charged on the buyer as a registration fee, then it is refunded at the deed of sale.

Due taxes at the deed of sale

Taxes vary depending on the cadastral income and the seller’s legal status. They are charged on the buyer and must be paid off at the deed of sale.

Stamp Duty

It is determined pro rata on the taxable amount.

  • 2% (first-home purchase, and an individual as a seller)

  • 9% (second-home purchase, and an individual as a seller)

  • € 200 (a company as a seller)

Cadastral Tax

Cadastral transfers, deeds of gift, as well as inheritance, are affected by the Cadastral Tax. Depending on the seller’s status, the tax varies.

  • € 50 (an individual as a seller)

  • € 200 (an individual as a seller)

Mortgage Tax

Real estate records are subjected to mortgage tax. Based on the seller’s status, the tax varies.

  • € 50 (an individual as a seller)

  • € 200 (a company as a seller)


Assuming a company as a seller, the purchase is affected by the VAT.

  • 4% (first-home purchase)

  • 10% (second-home purchase)

House ownership - annual taxes

Every house owner must abide by the annual taxes.

  • IMU (Municipal Tax) affects legal rights such as home ownership. First-home owners are IMU-free.

  • TARI (Waste Collection Tax) is due because of the waste disposal.

  • TASI (Indivisible Services Fee) concerns road maintenance, as well as public lighting. First-home owners are TASI-free.