Is it better to buy or to rent a property in Italy? Although owning a property can satisfy one’s need or desire for stability, some foreigners prefer to rent a property first in the area they like before purchasing the house of their dreams. Therefore, if you are planning on moving to Italy in the near future, this article will provide you with an overview of the advantages and pitfalls of both renting and buying property in Italy.

If you are seeking to live in Italy without settling permanently, renting a property undoubtedly ensures greater flexibility. From a financial point of view, renting a property allows you to plan your monthly expenses and to avoid unforeseen costs because the ones associated with structural maintenance will most likely be covered by the landlord. Furthermore, if you rent a property you will not incur into any purchasing taxes, mortgage installments or notary fees. In fact, you only need to pay rent to the owner of the property because notary fees are payable only when you purchase a property. However, please bear in mind that landlords are very cautious, and they often require credit checks and referencing as part of the rental application process. This is why they will also require you to pay a security deposit, which might be equal to three months’ rent, and which will be refunded at the end of the rental agreement, provided that you leave the apartment in good conditions. In fact, if the tenant causes any damage to the property, the landlord is entitled to retain part of the deposit. In addition to this, landlords might also require your employment contract in order to make sure that you will be able to pay the rent in the long term. Finally, if you rely on the services of a real estate agent who can help you locate a property, you will need to pay the real estate agency a commission fee, which is generally equal to a month’s rent.

On the other hand, buying a property can be considered a worthwhile investment either if you buy it to spend time there with your family, or if you purchase it with the purpose of renting it.

There are several differences between owning a property and renting one. Firstly, if you buy a property, the contract of sale needs to be countersigned by a notary public in Italy who can be quite expensive because of his crucial role in the purchasing process. In fact, a notary public’s main role is to ensure that the purchasing process is transparent and safe, and this entails a high degree of responsibility from a legal standpoint.
Secondly, foreigners usually struggle to take out a loan to purchase a property because of Italian banks’ strict requirements which concern the applicant’s source of income and residency status in Italy. In fact, banks are more likely to give loans and mortgages to Italian citizens who reside in the country and who will live in Italy throughout the period of time which is needed to pay back the loan or mortgage. Thirdly, if you rely on a real estate agent to find the property of your dreams, the real estate agency will require you to pay a commission fee that usually corresponds to 3% of the purchasing price.

Finally, when you buy a property you need to pay a purchasing tax which varies from 2% (if you buy your first property in Italy) to 9% (if the property is not your first home in Italy) along with small annual taxes.

In conclusion, the choice between buying or renting a property in Italy depends on two factors: your financial capital and your future plans. After determining these elements, it is advisable to assess and evaluate the real-estate investment in order to make sure that the property you want to invest in meets your needs.

If you need any help do not hesitate to contact us at Our team of Italian real-estate specialists and legal consultants will be glad to provide you with a preliminary consultancy to plan the best route of action to achieve the house of your dreams.


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