The Italian law provides the option for one of the parties (generally the purchasing party) to request the price deposit with the notary public until the registration of the deed. Therefore, if requested, the notary must keep the balance of the price intended for the selling party on deposit until the registration of the deed is completed, by which the purchasing party acquires the certainty that the purchase can no longer be affected by any encumbrances (lien, seizure, etc.) of the seller.

The sums that the purchasing party pays to the notary public (and which must necessarily be in the name of the notary and not the selling party) will be kept by him in a dedicated bank account.

These sums are absolutely safe: both because they are separated from the notary’s assets (they do not fall into his succession, in the event of his predecease; they cannot be distrained by his creditors) and because they cannot be distrained by the seller’s creditors.

The price deposit protects against the risk of prejudicial formalities or encumbrances between conclusion and registration of the deed. but it may be useful to the parties in the following scenarios:

  • HOUSE SUBJECT TO PRE-EMPTION – The property is subject to pre-emption. It is agreed in the deed that the price will be paid once the pre-emption right has ceased to exist;
  • NON-HABITABLE HOUSE – It is agreed in the deed that the price will be paid only upon submission of the certificate of occupancy;
  • HOUSE NOT FREE FROM PEOPLE OR THINGS – The property is still occupied by the selling party. It is agreed that the price will only be paid upon handover of the house to the purchasing party free of persons and things.

The protection of the price deposit is optional: before completion the purchasing party, depending on the situation, may opt to avail itself of it or waive it.

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