Rome Guide

Housing FAQ

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Properties for Rent in Rome

Q: I'm planning to relocate to Rome this summer: Would  August be a good month?
A: No ! From mid July until the end of August many
landlords are away on vacation and most  real estate agencies are closed. Because August is the month most Italians take their vacation, you should expect many businesses to be closed or operating at less capacity.

Q: I'm planning to retire in Rome. How much is the actual cost of purchasing a property ?
A: Properties in Rome are quite expensive.  Especially in comparison to the local economy and average salaries. The reason might  be because traditionally Italians invest their money in real estate as opposed to other financial features like the stock exchange, life insurances, businesses, etc..
In the last few years the real estate market has appreciated about  20 % each year. Now we are experiencing a moment of relative stasis. For a property within the City, you can expect to pay an average price between  5,000 € and the 8,000 € per SqM. Of course the price changes due to various factors.

Q: What kind of properties are available to rent in Rome and how much do they cost?
A: Rome offers all sort of housing solutions and every area of the City has its own characteristics: from the building apartments (Palazzi) and attics of the Centrum to the magnificent villas of the surrounding areas.
Keep in mind that although rental prices in Rome are quite high, there are a great variety of properies available to choose from. Please check our section 'Areas of Rome'

Q: In which condition can I expect to find the rental properties in?
A: Apartments are usually rented out in good conditions especially when previously occupied by the landlord. At the end of the contract, the property must be returned to the landlord in the condition in which it was handed over. The tenant is usually expected to clean and paint the property when he moves out

Q: Does an unfurnished apartment  have a kitchen, closets, or light fixtures ?
A: An unfurnished apartment in Italy is rented bare with no kitchen, light fixtures or closets installed. All you will find apart from the bare walls, ceiling and floor is a bathroom, plumbing and electricity . If you would like to rent with kitchen appliances and closets installed as is common in many countries, you should look for a Semi-furnished property. Semi-furnished properties do exist, and will typically have a 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.

Q: Should I bring my furniture when moving to Italy?
A: Good furniture in Italy can be just as costly or even more so than many other Western Countries. It's a good idea to obtain residency before shipping your possessions over, especially if you have not yet determined that this will be a permanent move.  You have one year after you have established residency in which to bring your things into Italy before they are subject to duty by the Italian government.

Q: What are the financial conditions and costs involved in  signing a property rental contract ?
A: Property owners always require a caution deposit at the time of signing the lease. Usually the caution deposit is from one month to three months' rental fee. This caution deposit will be returned to you, less any amount to cover damages and/or outstanding bills, at the end of the lease. The additional costs of signing a lease are: the tax for the registration of the contract which is split between the owner and tenant. It is calculated on the basis of 2% of the year's rental figure paid annually and real estate agency fee if involved. The real estate agency fee it's usually about the equivalent of one month rental fee.

Q: Are the costs of utilities included in the property rental fee?
A: Utility expenses such as telephone, gas, electricity and sometime water are usually not included in the rental agreement and are to be paid separately by the tenant according to consumption. These are separate contracts, with the providers. Residence hotels offer suites with kitchenettes rented on a weekly basis all expenses included.

Q: Is it possible to rent properties for a shorter term?
A: Property owners almost always require a minimum rental period of one year. For a shorter period of time we suggest you stay in a residence hotel where suites with kitchenette are rented on a weekly basis.There also is a wide range of fully furnished short term properties available in Rome, at a higher rent. You can visit our partner web site: www.roman-rentals.com

Q. What other cost are there apart from the rental fee ?
A: Other costs when renting a property are the condominium fee. These expenses generally include the doorman's salary, cleaning and maintenance of the building; central heating if any, water supply; running and maintaining the elevator; gardening charges, etc. In the same building these costs are calculated  by the size of the property. These expenses are estimated in the beginning of the year what they are expected to be for the duration of the year, and divided into payment periods, paid in advance with the rental payment. At the end of the administrative year if the cost are higher than the forecast the tenant will pay the difference.

Q: What are the additional costs involved apart from the rental fee when renting a detached house?
A. When  renting a detached house there is no condominium fee involved, unless the property is located in a gated compound with additional costs involved such as private employees, porters, guards or private streets that have to be maintained and lighted, or other similar common charges. Furthermore the tenant must register at the Municipal Tax Office for the garbage removal service. The cost is estimated on a six month or yearly base, calculated in regard to the the size of the property and  the number of persons living in the property.

Q: Is it necessary to register the house rental contract ?
A: The house rental contract is legally valid if it is not registered.
The registration is required by the Italian Authorities for tax purposes toward the Landlord. Your landlord gets taxed based on what he/she says your annual rent is. It is necessary to register the contract in order to get a parking permit in the neighbourhood resident-only parking.

Q: Why should I  register a contract and who is paying for it ?
A: To register a contract you have to get the standard "Form" from the Comune. It's called the "Contratto di Locazione Uso Abitazione Con Canone Libero". It includes the name of your landlord, your name, the annual rental price and the dates of the contract .It also includes about 3 pages of standard rules and regulations of Italian rental law. Both you and the landlord  have to sign it and bring it to the Agenzia delle Entrate where the landlord will fill out a Modello di Pagamento: Tasse, Imposte, Sanzioni, e Altre Entrate. The cost involved in this is about 60 euro. The tax for registering a contract is based upon a percentage  of 2%  of the annual rent. This fee should be shared equally between the tenant and the landlord. It is necessary to register the contract in order to get a parking permit in the neighbourhood resident-only parking.

Q: Which is the usual term for  leasing contracts ?
A: Standard leasing contracts are usually for a period of 4 years, renewable. During this period, if the tenant wants to leave, he/she can give a 3 months notice in advance. However, the exact terms of the lease and the notice period should be stated in the contract and agreed upon by both parties.

Q:  Can the  monthly rental fee increase during the period of the contract ?
A: The rental amount is increased each year by a small percentage. The percentage of increase is established annually by the "ISTAT" report (government issued cost of living index). This is usually calculated on 3% yearly.
Q: Do I have to pay a real estate agency commission for the property I wll rent and how much it will be ?
A: Yes, you will have to pay the commission to real estate agency.     For rentals is usually one month rental fee added with 20% VAT.
In case of purchase it will be about 3% of the property price.

Q: What is the garbage tax ?
A: Garbage tax: The tenant of a property must register at the Municipal Tax Office for the garbage removal service. The cost is calculated on the size, and the number of persons living in the property. The bill is sent to the tenant on a yearly or six months basis.

Q: Who is responsible for the house repairs ?
A: According to the Italian Civil Code For furnished or semi-furnished properties, the tenant is responsible for ordinary repairs and maintenance of the property and its contents and the owner is responsible for major repairs.

Q: How do I choose a good real estate agent ?
A: The best way is to get a recommendation from someone that bought from a local agent and was happy with the service. You should not just depend on International name brands. Good agents often are from small local firms.

Q: Who do I need in order to purchase a property?
A: You will need the service of a 'Notaio' (notary). This is a lawyer that is licensed to conduct property transactions.

Q: Which are the main steps to purchase a property?
A: Buying a property in Italy is still a complex legal process with
specialised procedures and difficulties peculiar to the Italian market.
Normally, the purchase of a property in Italy is arranged in three stages:
1: The first stage relates to the selection of the property, survey, legal
and planning searches at the local land registry, and all necessary checks with the local authorities as far as local planning and building regulations are concerned in order to ensure that:
- the property exists, it is as described, and belongs to the prospective  
  seller,
- the property is legally saleable,
- there are no third parties' rights, mortgages or
  other undisclosed/encumbrances affecting the property,
- the property complies with all the applicable local planning and
  building regulations,
- the property is fit for human habitation ,
- the vendor has complied with all the relevant Italian tax legislation by
  lodging tax returns, and paying income tax (Imposta sui Redditi),
  which may have been due in the previous tax years. In default of this
  requirement, the property may be legally un saleable,
- where the vendor is a trader or a company, they should not have been
  adjudged bankrupt (Fallito), and no application to this effect should be
  pending against him.
- if the property is in a block of flats (Condominio), all service charges
  due should have been paid.
At this stage the buyer may be asked to sign a reservation agreement
(Prenotazione), and pay a small deposit to the Real Estate Agent.
2: The second stage when all searches have been satisfactorily completed, a draft (Compromesso)  contract is normally produced and considered. This is a binding legal agreement to complete the purchase. You will agree to the terms of the contract, such as the price, the amount of the deposit payable on exchange of contracts, and the date of completion at the offices of a local Notary (Notaio). In view of the fact that this is an unequivocal commitment to buy the property and pay the price, and that a deposit is payable at the time of signature, under Italian law the legal definition of this deposit can have serious implications for the buyer in case of default in completing on the agreed terms, the purchaser will automatically lose the whole of the deposit paid. At this stage special terms may have to be introduced to deal with particular problems disclosed by the searches or the documents submitted by the vendor. The  (Compromesso) contract is a complex legal document, which should always be submitted to a notary for advice and considered with great care before signature, to avoid the pitfalls that plague the property market, in Italy as anywhere else.
Basically, the buyer should ensure that the contract:
- specifically defines in detail the property sold.
  states the deposit paid
- states without reservations/doubts the legally binding and
  unconditional commitment of the vendor to sell the property in
  question
- deals with any existing mortgage or third parties' right, or other
  problems discovered on effecting the survey/searches or on
  examining the documentation submitted by the vendor.
At the time of signature of the contract, a deposit (Deposito or Caparra) will be payable, ranging between 10% and 40% of the price of the property. If the buyer is buying with the assistance of a mortgage (Mutuo ipotecario), it is absolutely vital to organise a binding mortgage agreement, before accepting the legal commitments relating to the signature of the contract. In any case Italian law requires all contracts relating to land or buildings to be in writing, signed by both parties.
3: The third stage is the Deed of Purchase. (Rogito)
This relates to the completion formalities, which normally take place in the offices of a local public notary  who is the only professional entitled to transfer properties in Italy. Notaries have a special duty of drafting the Purchase Deed (Rogito), to ensure that title passes legally between the parties, the proper execution, registration, and payments in the Local Land Register. Here the buyer will sign and pay the balance of the agreed price by delivering the bankers drafts Assegni Circolari, immediately before completion the vendor will agree to convey the property by signing and delivering the same Title Deed (Rogito).
The notary will also, before completion, deal with the formalities relating to the discharge/cancellation of any existing vendor's mortgage. For ease of reference and economy, they usually deal with any new mortgage application by the buyer. The buyer will also pay the notary's fees.
4: Post-Completion formalities.
The main formality here is the registration of the new Title Deed with the Authorities, and the payment of any Italian taxes due. This is the specific duty of the notary. Once the purchase has been completed at the notary office, the buyer will mainly be interested in obtaining a certified copy of the Purchase Deed, as duly lodged with the authorities by the Italian notary appointed. A copy of the Purchase Deed (Rogito) is usually available for collection from the notary's office within two - three months from the date of completion.

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