The year 2020 has been characterized by unprecedented historical events. Among these, the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, which came into effect on December 31st 2020, has drastically changed the political and economic scenario in Europe. However, despite the climate of uncertainty surrounding these changes, there are still a few things that remain unaltered.

If you were planning on purchasing the property of your dreams in Italy, for instance, you can still invest in the real estate market in Italy as real estate investments are not subject to EU legislation. As a matter of fact, real estate investments have always been regulated by the domestic law of the state in which a property is purchased. More specifically, the basic principle that regulates real estate transactions is “reciprocity”. Italy and the UK entered GATS (General Agreement on Trade in Services) in 1995 and this allowed their citizens to purchase property in each other’s countries with no restrictions. Now that the UK has left the EU, UK citizens who wish to purchase a property in Italy are treated as non-EU citizens but there are no restrictions in place that make it difficult for them to buy a property.

The purchasing process in Italy is similar to the one in UK: it begins with a thorough property research in order to identify the property that best suits your needs. When a property has been identified you can make a Formal Offer which will then be assessed by the seller or the real estate agency through which the property is being sold. It is always advisable to carry out due diligence on the property in order to make sure that the legal documents related to the property are in order and that there are no hidden liens or potential liabilities. In this sense, one of the most important aspects in a real estate transaction is making sure that the buyer is making a safe investment and that the entire purchasing process is transparent. It should also be noted that the legal terminology in Italian can be quite daunting, this is the reason why it is always safer to rely on the services of a property law firm whose real estate experts and lawyers are fluent in English, and who can help the buyer navigate the purchasing process.

Although the global health emergency has not affected real estate transactions, travel restrictions might prevent citizens of other countries from travelling to Italy; nevertheless, the situation is constantly evolving therefore we suggest consulting the website of the Italian Ministry of Health to keep up to date with the most recent rules and regulations regarding traveling from and to Italy. Please bear in mind that if you rely on the services of a property law firm like ourselves you do not need to travel to Italy to purchase your property because we can represent you via a Power of Attorney which will be drafted in order for our lawyers to represent you and act on your behalf to finalize the purchasing process and sign the Final Deed of Sale. You will also be provided with instructions on how to make payments remotely. Finally, when all of the necessary documents have been submitted and the payments have been made, your Italian legal representative will send you the keys to your property.

The Italian real estate market has always been very attractive due to its competitiveness and great variety of choice, and even more so in the past year which has witnessed an unprecedent growth in terms of foreign investment. This has also been the case for applications for Italian citizenship, which have increased significantly compared to previous years. In other words, many individuals are looking into applying for Italian citizenship because of the benefits that it entails. Please bear in mind that there are various paths to acquiring citizenship such as filing an application for Italian citizenship by descent, by marriage and residency. As an Italian citizen and consequently an EU citizen you can travel, study or work anywhere in the European Union. You you do not need a visa to travel to any of the EU member states, and you can reside in Italy as well as in another EU country without any restrictions and time limitation. Nevertheless, if you do not qualify for Italian citizenship by descent it is always possible to apply for a residency visa and owning a property in Italy can help you obtain one.

In conclusion, whether your dream is to move to Italy with your family or whether it is to enjoy the country’s lifestyle, purchasing a property in Italy will definitely open the doors to a lifelong investment. If you need any help or information regarding purchasing a property in Italy do not hesitate to contact us at info@italianrealestatelawyers.com. We will be more than happy to help you.

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