StanisciLa Firm in Ostuni provides legal assistance in real estate. If you buy an illegal property and you have not been informed by the seller, there is no doubt that you have the possibility to ask for the termination of the contract – including the right to return the money paid – or a reduction of the price paid, equal to the economic expenses necessary to obtain amnesty for the building.
But pay attention to the statute of limitations: you have the right to claim compensation against those who sold you the property within 10 years, which begins, however, not with the signing of the deed, but with the discovery of the violation of local building regulations.
In case of sale of an illegal property, the seller is liable for the breach resulting from aliud pro alio (“something for something else”) and for damages resulting from the loss of value of the property. This is established by the Court of Rome, sez. XIII °, in the judgment of 28.09.2017.
The declarations under art. 40, law no. 47/1985 made by the seller, on the urban regularity of the property, are established to protect the buyer, so that he is put in a position to make decisions consciously, avoiding to conclude the purchase or proceed to other conditions
Non-resident individuals coming to Italy may opt to subject pension income produced abroad to a substitute tax, calculated on a flat-rate basis, at the rate of 7%, for 9 years. The facility, which provided for the option for only 5 years, has been increased to 9 years, by art. 5-bis of Decree-Law no. 34 of 30 April 2019. The conditions, to access the favourable taxation, instead, are set out in paragraphs 273 and 274, of Law no. 145 of 30 December 2018 (Budget Law for the year 2019) and can be resumed as follows:
Buying a property in Italy proceeds through three key steps:
> Irrevocable proposal to purchase. Once you have chosen the property, you should seek the services of a lawyer. The first document you need to sign is called an irrevocable offer to purchase (Proposta irrevocabile d’acquisto). By signing, you have the property removed from the market for a period, normally 15 days. During this time the solicitor will carry out all investigations to ensure that the property is free from debts, mortgages, or other unpleasant surprises. A small deposit is required at this stage.
> Preliminary contract of sale. Should the purchase be finalised, this deposit will be considered as partial payment of the purchase price. If the seller does not formally accept the offer, the deposit will be returned. At this point, the buyer and the seller will formalise their agreement with the “preliminary contract of sale” (contratto preliminare), a legal document setting out the detailed terms and conditions of the sale.
> Deed of sale. The final stage of the purchase is the so-called “deed of sale”. The deed is drawn up by the notary in his office and must fully comply with the preliminary contract. Italian law provides that the deed of sale must be drawn up in Italian and in English if one of the parties does not understand Italian. If the buyer(s) cannot be present to sign the deed in front of the notary, the buyer(s) may give power of attorney to their lawyer who will sign the deed on their behalf.