The most common rental contracts in Italy

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.

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  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).


  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


    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?

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