RENTAL CONTRACTS IN ITALY: TYPES AND OPTIONS

Italy’s laws strongly favor the renter (see L.n.392/1978 called the ‘Fair Rent’ Act, L.n.431/1998, and even the Constitution, all of which are available in English). Landlords cannot arbitrarily evict tenants without paying serious compensation, even in the case of non-payment by the tenant. The eviction process can sometimes be very long given the corresponding legal process. Some cases have lasted upwards of two years.
All rental contracts in Italy should be registered with the regional ufficio del registro for them to be valid. Oftentimes landlords prefer not to register the contract in order to avoid paying taxes. In order to do so they will often negotiate giving you a lower rent in return, placing themselves at risk by doing so. Additionally, all contracts must be written: it is illegal to do otherwise.

The Four Types of Rental Contracts:

  1. Unrestricted contracts (contratto di locazione a canone libero) is a longterm contract lasting 4 years which is renewable for another 4 years. The rent is determined freely.
  2. Conventional contracts (contratto a canone concordato) is a contract that lasts for 3 years with the possibility of renewing for another 2 years. It generally has a lower rent than the market price. This type of contract allows the owner to claim for a tax break.
  3. Transitory contracts (contratto di locazione ad uso transitorio) are for short-term rentals. They last a minimum of 1 month up to a maximum of 18 months. After the expiration date  they are not renewable.
  4. Student contracts (contratto di locazione a favore degli studenti universitari) are governed by agreements with local cities with universities. They can last anywhere from 6 months to 3 years and have an automatic renewal that same duration unless the contract is terminated. Rental price for student contracts is freely determined.

A Contract Must Include:

There are a number of things that must be included in any rental contract regardless of its duration. Standard information such as the landlord’s and tenant’s personal details, the details of the property, the amount of the rent are necessary. The following items must also be included:
  1. A clause confirming that the tenant has received an Energy Performance Certificate (Attestato di Prestazione Energetica);
  2. Annual amount of rent;
  3. Community costs to be paid by the tenant;
  4. Amount of deposit (usually 3 months worth of rent);
  5. Terms and conditions in order to terminate the contract by either party (generally notice must be given 6 months in advance);
  6. Terms and conditions relating to upkeep of the property.

The annual amount of rent established in the contract cannot be altered for the entirety of its duration  once it goes into effect. This is to give the renter security and to prevent them from being taken advantage of.

Additional Payments:

Unless you’re planning to live like a hermit in your apartment you’ll typically have to pay for all of your own utilities which are not usually included in the rent. These include:
●      Cable;
●      Electric;
●      Gas;
●      Internet/WiFi;
●      Trash Service;
●      TV tax (if you own a TV).

Yes, the TV tax is real. It is figured into the cost of the electric bill in order to combat evasion to pay it, as absurd as it seems. The cost is around €90 per year as of 2018.

Companies Planning to Earn on Rentals:

Rental companies that are looking to earn money by renting apartments should be aware of a number of things that the landlord must do.
  1. A landlord must register the lease agreement within 30 days. The lease agreement is subject to payment of registration tax and stamp tax unless the landlord chooses a flat tax;
  2. With multi-annual lease contracts, the registration tax is due once per year and is set at 2% with a minimum payment of €67;
  3. A stamp (marca da bollo) must be affixed and costs €32 for contracts less than four pages or 100 lines. If it exceeds that requirement, the cost goes up to €64 with eight pages or 200 lines and goes on in the same fashion with the addition of 4 additional pages or 100 lines;
  4. The landlord must also inform the local police within 48 hours about the new contract;
  5. All rental income must be declared in the owner’s annual tax declaration.

Landlords who grant additional benefits to the renters may also benefit in terms of substantially lower income tax, municipal tax and registration tax. In terms of turning a profit, contracts oriented towards students generate a large income because the rent is usually short-term, especially in the case of foreign and Erasmus students, and can be freely determined between the parties.

Terminating Rental Contracts:

​As mentioned in the introduction, it is very difficult to evict a tenant in Italy. Rental contracts can terminate of their own volition as long as either party has given proper notice (usually the minimum amount of time is 6 months notice) at which point the owner must return the initial deposit fee paid by the renter. If no notice is given by either party then the contract is automatically renewed.

It’s always important to keep in mind what was previously mentioned: Italian law provides a lot of protection for renters and significantly less for owners.

93 thoughts on “RENTAL CONTRACTS IN ITALY: TYPES AND OPTIONS”

  1. Hi Nicolo
    My name is Aleksandr and would like to rent you apartment in Trento. I Traver for work and I have a business contract till 03.2023 so that I’am interested to rent an apartment for long period (from 1 year). In order not to get into mischief, I want to get advice, to get acquainted, perhaps, with a few examples of such agreements, what are the nuances in them.
    Could you please comment on this question?
    Thank you in advance and have a nice weekend!

  2. Hello NIcolo.
    I Have a residence with a landlord whose building he bought has been closedby the court.. I want to know what will happen to my residence in the local register (comune).

  3. Hello,
    In a 4+4 contract, if the landlord agrees, is it possible to introduce a clause allowing the early termination of the contract (3 months notice, rather than 6 months)?
    Many thanks

    1. I live in a house 3+2 contract, my question is this.
      (1)This year the whole condomino was disinfectanted who should pay the cost Me or the landlord?
      (2) in the contract of the house the landlord recovered the garage and the garage is part of the condomino

  4. Hello,
    In a 4+4 contract, is it possible, if the landlord agrees, to introduce a clause allowing to terminate the contract with only 3 months notice (rather than 6)?
    Many thanks

  5. Hi Nicolo, In June 2021, I signed a contract for 4 years (Padova) from 2021-2025. The real estate agency registered the contract at Agenzia delle Entrate but I realized that the contract was not added. Yesterday, I received a notification from the owner saying that my contract was renewed last June (one year later) and my rent was increased. Consequently, we have to register the contract again. Could you give me your advice, please?
    Thank you!

  6. Hi Nicolo,
    I am really happy I came across your site 🙂 I am an English girl living currently in Italy.
    I am curious if you could help answer a question for me, I am looking to end my rental contract as I will be leaving Italy within two months (not the 6months of on the rental contract period).
    When I recently looked at my rental contract I noticed the dates on the contract were from 2015 – 2019, I understand that this is part of the 4+4 rental contracts here in Italy? But my question to yourself is if my contract is still legal considering the landlord never asked me to sign a new contract after 2019?
    thank you so much for your help in advance. 🙂

  7. Hi! Do you have a link to the ‘fair act’ law in English? I can’t seem to find it via Google.

    I am specifically looking for information as to whether there is a cause for a tenant to terminate the lease if the landlord neglects or takes too long to remedy ordinary maintenance issues in the apartment (which they’ve specifically, in writing, has stated that THEY will remedy).

    Thanks!

  8. I lost my work for some years… And I have some arrears to pay… I have made an arrangement with the landlord which I am paying… My contract will expire this month.. Can he refused to renew my contract??

  9. Is it ok to live rented in a house without a contract by a close member (almost family)? how can I do this legally in the right way? (they can’t give me a contract)

  10. Greeting, I am not sure if my contract has a silent renewal. I think my contract is contratto di locazione ad uso transitorio, but I and my flatmate are students (we wrote our program’s name down on the contract), our contract expired in September, and we told the landlord we will rent another year, she told us she would increase the price, and we waited till yesterday, she told to the new price is 20% higher than the original one, is it legal to increase the price that much? Do I need to move immediately if I don’t accept the new price? (we already paid the rent till November in the old price)
    Thank you:)

    1. potentially the contract has already renewed! If it’s a free market contract your landlord can raise it without any constraints

    1. you need to request a copy from them. You can find the registration details in your private area in the tax office website upon logging in

  11. I live with relatives in a small village in Calabria, Italy for +-6 months annually. I am a US and Italian citizen. Is there a zero payment rental lease I can use that will properly record my time in Italy even though I don’t pay rent? I want to have my Italian ID card changed from my previous region to my current region (Calabria) and it’s my understanding the only way I can get that done is with a lease. Thanks!

      1. I believe I was a resident when I lived in Basilicata, when I obtained my citizenship. But when I returned to the USA I filed an AIRE so I don’t think I am any longer. Honestly, I don’t know what the definition of a resident is; and if a lease would provide me that designation also? My Carta d’identità still reads Basilicata. Thanks!

  12. Hello, I am renting a room in Milan from September 2022 until February 2023 as part of the Erasmus programme. I have found out 2 weeks after moving in that I have to go back to France in December. I have let the landlord know that I wanted to terminate the contract sooner and he said that I have to pay until the end of February as written in my contract, or find someone to take over my room. I am paying 900€ per month for the rent, however, he has decided that the new tenant should pay for January and February 1200€.
    Is it legal that the termination contract is paying every single penny? Is it legal to decide such an increase from one month to another although if it was me the price wouldn’t change ?

    Thank you

    1. Dear Laurene,

      it all depends on the vacation notice set in the contract. If there is no such clause you are bound to pay for the remaining time

  13. michele dematteis

    hello! if you sign a contract with a landlord and the landlord never registers it with the ufficio del registro, does the landlord nevertheless have to notify the local police of the contract?

    1. If your landlord doesn’t register the contract with the tax office, you can apply to court and request all the payments back since the contract is void.

  14. I live in a house 3+2 contract, my question is this.
    (1)This year the whole condomino was disinfectanted who should pay the cost Me or the landlord?
    (2) in the contract of the house the landlord recovered the garage and the garage is part of the condomino

  15. Hi Nicolo, if I rent an apartment with a contract that is a few days less than a year will the commute Roma give me a residency card or will they require a full year? Thank you.

  16. Hello

    I am student. I am renting a room in a shared apartment.
    The contract is a student contract for 10 months period. I gave a deposit for only 1 month and it is mentioned in the contract.
    The house now is under construction, there is no functional kitchen or clean bathroom, we are using upstairs (another apartment kitchen and bathroom) ,everything is a mess so i want to leave the apartment immediately but i want to take my deposit back.
    Is there any solution please?
    Because in the contract it said that there is a penalty if i cancel the contract before the end of period.

  17. Good Afternoon
    I have a concern. we have a house in Italy in exactly Sant Eusanio Forconese, Abruzzo
    the house was rented for four years the tenant never paid on time and stopped paying for almost two years the tenant decided that he was going to leave the house December 2022 he partially collected almost all his belongings.
    We decided to cancel the contract but he still hasn’t handed over the keys. What can be done in this case?
    Thank you so much any help will be really very appreciate

  18. Hi, we (myself, my husband and 3 of our kids) live in a rented house of 4+4 year contract. After the first 4 years the landlord refused to register the other 4 years and we’re almost 8years in the same house paying for the rent but the thing is that the landlord has refused to renew the contract. He once wrote one without registering it. We really need this house contract, please what do we do?? Please, I would really appreciate your help

  19. Hi,

    We are from Cyprus (an EU country). My daughter is a student in Torino, she tried to rent a new apartment and she was denied, the reason being:

    “the owner doesn’t accept payment from foreign bank.”

    She showed the owner a bank statement from the Bank of Cyprus with money in it as well as the tax return. How can the owner not accept EU documentation? Is this legal, or is it discriminatory?

    Many thanks for your help!

  20. Hi,
    I have signed a contract with 2 months of notice and now that I have sent the notice to the landlord 2 months in advance, the agency is telling me that the notice is 6 months and showing me a contract that says so , but in the page mentioning 6 months of notice there is no signature ( it can be easily changed) and unfortunately I dont have a copy of the contract with 2 months of notice . how can I prove them wrong that the contract I have signed is with 2 months of notice ?

  21. Thomas Stathopoulos

    Hello,

    I want to rent an apartment as a student. The issue is that the owners of the apartment had bought for their daughter but she doesn’t want to stay there, that’s why they are renting it. The issue is that because she has announced this as her residency it will be written in the contract that she will be staying in the house and that a part of it will be rented. In that case my question is am I safe staying there until I finish my studies or does she have the right to evict me? I know it’s a bit complicated.

    Thank you in advance?

    1. Please I have a problem I rented my apartment 2022 and the contract will expire in 2025. The problem is that my landlord called someday ago that he has a problem with the bank,that they are coming to evict me from the house in two months time,is this possible when I still have a valid contract that will expire in January 2025?

  22. Hello Nicolò,

    At the moment I’m staying in Bologna but looking for a new apartment to rent. I understand that there are different types of contract, as you wrote above. My question: if I’m looking for a short term rental, should I just ignore all the ads that say 4+4 or could it still be worth responding to it? Does mentioning 4+4 show a preference of the landlord or is the apartment registered as working with a 4+4 contract (which would presumably make it more difficult to change to a short term contract)?

    Thank you so much!

    1. you should always pay attention to the vacation notice period, therefore the minimum time to vacate the property (generally 3-6 months in advance)

  23. Hello,
    I’m a tennant, can I see my contract on the ufficio del registro website?
    I have a feeling he hasn’t registered it? I want to check.
    Will this affect my residency if it’s not registred?
    Many thanks in aadvance.

    1. yes, you can access your tax office website
      Cassetto Fiscale –> Dati del registro

      If the rental has been registered, it should appear there

  24. Jessica Wolf Ortiz

    Hi Nicolo, I am renting an apartment for my daughter to study in Milan. Have been asked to get a Codice Fiscale. Should the contract be under my name and so the códice fiscale or unir hers? She is 18.
    And she will have a roommate she barely knows. Best way to go about contract?
    Gracias from Mexico

    1. just register the contract in both the students names. You can request the codice fiscale to register the contract

      1. I have been renting for many years in Italy. My landlord wanted €600 a month but the contract said €300. I paid him €600 as he requested with a cheque. The contract was registered. After a few years the landlord asked me to sign a new contract that said €600 this time. I have continued to pay and we are now 6 years into this 2nd contract. My landlord now wants me to leave early.

        My questions are 1. do I have to leave early? 2. The extra €300 I paid for approximately 4 years above what was stated in the contract, am I entitled to get that back? Thank you

  25. I am living in Puglia. I belIeve my landlord hasn’t registered the contract at the tax office. I am asking for proof but he is sending me incorrect documentation. I am English and need the contract registered for my residency.

    What can I do if he doesn’t send me proof. What are my rights? Is there a way you can see your contract on the Italian tax website?

    I found out that the water from the well hasn’t been checked for sanitation. I have been living withiout running water for 8 monmths. Also no aircon.

    1. He is in big trouble. You can enforce the contract in court requesting to occupy the property at the same rate as the rendita catastale (few hundreds € per year).

  26. I rent an apartment in Passignano. The contract has never been registered I guess to avoid tax. It is a rented apartment owned by an American. The rental agreement drawn up by the estate agent . It was a 3+2 contract. 3months notice to quit. Just been informed they are going to sign a contract with adjoining neighboring apartment to sell on July 6th. The estate agent has given up her franchise but says she is willing to help with a new property. I guess the estate agent and owner were in it together over not registering the contract which has been running for over 1.6years
    Do I have any legal rights? I am assuming the termination notice does not exist.
    Could the estate agent and owner be in big trouble legally.
    Any help would be appreciated.

    1. yes you do. you can enforce this in court and request all the payments in excess of the rendita catastale back, as well as retain your right to stay in the property until its expiration

  27. Please I have a problem I rented my apartment 2022 and the contract will expire in 2025. The problem is that my landlord called someday ago that he has a problem with the bank,that they are coming to evict me from the house in two months time,is this possible when I still have a valid contract that will expire in January 2025?

  28. Hello! Hope you are doing well.

    I was wondering if you could help me clarify something. My girlfriend (German), and I ( got my italian passport) are moving to sicily this september. We are aware we must register with the local office our address of residence once we move in. The question is if holiday rentals are allowed for such registration, as in sicily right now there not as much properties until summer is over, and it would give us some time before deciding on a permanent area near palermo.

    Thank you so vey much!

  29. hi
    I have a 4 +4 contract and the landlord is not renewing the apartment for the second 4 years. I have not been able to find an affordable apartment in this time and have 2 kids. He gave reasons such as wanting to re occupy house, wants to refurbish house etc….
    I have asked for an extension but I dont think thats possible. I emailed him to let him know I cannot move as havent found and apartment yet. Can he evict me? if so how long does it take?

  30. Hi Different question from a Landlord this time!
    We have rented our apartment under 4 x 4 contract. we have issued them a letter asking them to leave (giving 6 months notice) however they do not want to sign the contract and are becoming very angry about it. We have done everything legally and we now just want to upgrade the apartment for us. Where do we stand please? Help!

    1. then you need to enforce it in court. if you have abode to the contract, they have no legal right to occupy the property beyond the contract expiration

  31. Hi,

    We’re renting a flat in Bolzano under a 3+2 contract. Very soon we’ll have been here a full five years. Our landlord has neither offered a new contract nor asked us to leave, although he has said he intends to put the flat up for sale. What will our status be once we pass five years and our original 3+2 contract ends? Can our landlord throw us out on short notice?

  32. Hello, I am a USA student and I have been renting a studio in Milan for over a year. A month ago, the building where my studio is located began undergoing a significant renovation which impacts my living conditions. I reached out to my landlord to request a rent payment reduction, to prove me with air purifier, dehumidifier, and address the mold, but he only offered to waive the payment for the last month of my stay. What legal action should I take against him if any?

  33. Hi Nicoló,

    Thank you for this informative website. I rent an apartment in Italy with a 4+4 rental contract, since 2022. My landlord has indicated that she wants to sell the apartment. Ideally I would like to stay until 2028, so completing first 4 years and another 2 years or so (my job is temporary). Question: will I have a right to stay, even if the property is sold? Under which conditions can the contract not be renewed after 4 years?

    Thank you!

  34. Hello Nicolò,

    I am staying in rental contract in a house. The contract is on two persons. And the person went out without noticing and paying anything to me and Can we proceed legally on a person who doesn’t respect the rental contract.

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