Renting: a general guide
In residential rentals there are no precise rules regarding the internal conditions of a rented property, although a good condition, cleanliness and a minimum of attention to detail greatly influence the choice of a potential tenant. A beautiful house immediately enters the heart of whoever sees it.
At the end of the lease, the tenant is required to return the premises in the same degree of cleanliness, order and painting in which they received it.
It should also be noted that the most commonly used contract is for 4 years + 4 years duration; in Milan a minimum rental period is generally required (usually at least one year) after which it is possible to give 3 or 6 months' notice. For short leases of 3/6 months, residences and several specialized activities (such as Air B&B) offer fully furnished and equipped apartments even for a few days/weeks.
Electricity, gas and telephone/internet are always charged to the tenant. The relative contracts are stipulated directly by the tenant, who chooses the company, that best suits his needs. Payments are usually bimonthly.
Garbage disposal fee
The tenant of each apartment or villa is required to register with the relevant municipal office, or electronically, for the waste collection service. The cost of the service is calculated according to the square meters of the house and the number of occupants. Payment of the fee is requested by the municipality who will send the tenant an annual bill.
Contracts in Italy
There are several types of rental contracts in Italy.
The standard contract (nominated 4 plus 4) is for 4 years, automatically renewable for another 4 years. The landlord must guarantee consequently, availability for a total of 8 years, but may eventually give notice to the tenant 6 months before the first contractual expiry date (i.e., after the first 4 years), should he or a close relative need to live in the property. There are some legal requirements however that must be considered in order to do so. The tenant may give notice, according to the terms agreed upon in the contract, with a registered letter even before the established 4 years. The official notice period is 6 months, but often 3 months can be agreed upon.
The transitional contract, which must meet the transitional needs of a tenant or owner (attendance at university, fixed-term employment contract, renovation of the house of ownership and moving, etc.). It is essential that the need is transitory and must be supported by documents and a deadline for the conclusion of the contract must be agreed upon. If the reason for the transitory lease should be prolonged, the contract can be extended. However, the rental period cannot be less than one year nor more than 18 months. There is also a contract named a 3 plus 2 in which the amount of the rent is calculated on the basis of agreements between the association of owners and tenants. There are official tables drawn up with the parameters evaluated according to the quality and characteristics of the property. The transitional contract for students is valid for a period of 6 to 36 months. The agreement can be signed by the individual student or by groups of university students or companies that represent students. This contract can only be stipulated in municipalities with universities or university branch offices. The rental fee is bound to local agreements. The "comodato" contract, is one in which an owner hands over the property to another person essentially free of charge for a specific time.
Cost of living index rent increase.
The rent is updated annually according to the values published in the Official Gazette, which reports the variations ascertained by ISTAT in the household price index.
Flat rate rent contract (cedolare secca)
As of 2011, the "flat rate tax on rents" was introduced. This is a tax that replaces those currently due on leases (article 3 of Legislative Decree no. 23/2011). It is an optional regime and is applied as an alternative to the ordinary one. It includes tax benefits for the owner and tenant.
In Milan it is customary to pay quarterly and in advance the rent + the condominium expenses for which, however, remains subject to any request for adjustment, based on the final balance drawn up by the administrator of the building. In any case, some owners may accept bimonthly or monthly payments.
Normally the tenant issues a security deposit equal to three months' rent. This amount is usually kept in a bank account and is returned at the end of the lease, after checking the state of the premises and confirming that there are no damages or breakages. If repairs/replacements are necessary, the cost of these can be deducted from the deposit before it is returned. The deposit can NOT be used to cover the last three months of rent.
In addition to the rent, the tenant must pay for the condominium expenses, which include cleaning and maintenance of the building, water supply, landscaping, elevator, janitor, etc., and possibly heating and hot water, if centralized. The condominium expenses vary depending on the size of the apartment, the number of people living in the house, the type of heating, the age of the building etc. The administrator of the building, after having established an estimate of the expenses that will have to be faced, divides the costs among the apartments, in proportion to their size, and asks for quarterly advance payments. The tenant must take charge of these expenses and, for convenience, pays them together with the rent directly to the owner who, in turn, will take care of paying the administrator. At the end of the administrative year, a check is made on the actual expenses incurred and a final balance is drawn up on the basis of which the owners will be paid the balance. Obviously, if you rent an independent villa, there will be no condominium expenses unless it is in a residential complex with a common garden and concierge service.
The registration tax must be paid every year for the duration of the lease and corresponds to 2% of the annual rent. This expense is borne by the owner and the tenant, in equal the measure of 50%. The stamps to be affixed to the contracts to be registered, however, are the responsibility of the tenant only. Otherwise, the notice fee must be paid to the tax office by the party withdrawing from the contract. In any case, both parties are jointly responsible for the registration or cancellation of the contract to the competent office. If the landlord instead intends to avail himself of the "cedolare secca" regime, contract registration is required but no fee is due.
The tenant is responsible for the ordinary maintenance of the property and its contents, if furnished, including household appliances. In the event of a dispute regarding the responsibility for breakdowns, the opinion of a specialized technician will be consulted. Extraordinary maintenance costs are the responsibility of the property. You can rent houses: empty, i.e. without any kind of furniture; semi-furnished, i.e. with the kitchen installed, the appliances and some cupboards; or fully furnished. The equipment (plates, glasses, cutlery, pots, towels, etc.) is not usually provided, but sometimes the owners can arrange for this type of service.
When renting a furnished or semi-furnished house, you must keep in mind that the Civil Code provides for the direct intervention of the tenant for ordinary maintenance and for repairs at his expense. Otherwise, for extraordinary matters, the owner will have to take care of everything.
Property hand over
The tenant is obliged to hand back the property in the same condition in which he received it at the beginning of the tenancy; if the house had been freshly painted, the tenant will have to paint it before the release of the keys. Obviously, this is not possible for short-term rentals. The landlord can deduct the expenses incurred to put the apartment back in order from the security deposit.