A foreign citizen legally residing in Italy can buy a house, rent it or be loaned it free of charge by the property owner.

How to rent a house.

The contratto d’affitto [rental contract]: duration and costsi

A rental contract is a written document certifying the agreement between the property owner/holder (landlord) and the tenant renting the property.
In order to sign a rental contract, a non-EU citizen must hold a permesso di soggiorno [residence permit]

The rental contract states:
• personal details of the owner and tenant and anyone else living with the tenant (family members/friends);
• details of the property (full address, rooms/services/annexes making up the property, the purpose for which it is rented);
• rent and payment times and methods: at the time of payment, the owner must issue a receipt indicating the date and the amount paid;
• agreement start date;
• contract duration;
• deposit paid (usually 2-3 monthly payments);
• any furniture and household appliances provided by the owner;
• any expenses (utility bills, condominio [communal service fees]) included in the rent.

The rental contract
• must be signed by both parties and each person will be given their own copy.
• must be registered within 30 days of signing at the relevant Agenzia delle Entrate [Inland revenue office]. Registration fees are shared between the parties.
• The rental rate can be freely determined or agreed:.
• freely determined rent: the parties agree on the monthly rental and the contract lasts for four years + four years’ automatic renewal.
• agreed rent: the rental is decided by local authority agreements and the contract duration is generally three years + two years, with some exceptions (e.g. students)

Building rental notification

Anyone who rents a property or loans one free of charge to a foreign citizen is obliged to provide notification that the building has been rented to the relevant Public Safety Authority (Police) or Comune [Town Hall] if there is no local Police station.
When making the statement, the documents of all persons concerned must be submitted and each person will be provided with a copy of the statement.

What household utilities do I need? How do I activate them and where?

Household utilities concern the supply of:
• electricity;
• drinking water;
• waste disposal services;
• gas for cooking and heating;
• television. If there is no television in the house, you can ask not to pay the licence fee. In Italy, the TV licence fee is included in the electricity bill.
• telephone land line and internet (optional).

Domestic utilities:
• are payable by the tenant;
• they are activated by the companies supplying the services, except for waste disposal. The town hall is responsible for waste disposal and charges a fee for this service.
• when activating the utilities, details of the property and the tenant’s documents have to be provided
• there are activation costs, which vary depending on the service requested;
• they are cheaper for resident users;
• they are paid in monthly or bi-monthly instalments;
• they can be paid at post offices or by bank transfer.