Click here to register online to make money transfers abroad, at the lowest rate
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International Money Transfers

Click here to register online to make money transfers abroad, at the lowest rate
The best rates for
International Money Transfers

Click here to register online to make money transfers abroad, at the lowest rate
The best rates for
International Money Transfers

Click here to register online to make money transfers abroad, at the lowest rate
The best rates for
International Money Transfers

Click here to register online to make money transfers abroad, at the lowest rate
The best rates for
International Money Transfers

Click here to register online to make money transfers abroad, at the lowest rate
The best rates for
International Money Transfers

Frequently asked questions.

Q. What deposit is required to buy a property?

A. Deposits for Italian properties are 3,000 euros to reserve the property, plus 50% of the purchase price within 4-6 weeks, when the contracts are signed and the balance upon completion.

Q. Could I pay less for my new home elsewhere?

A. No, just the opposite. We offer you your new home at the lowest list price. Whether you go direct to the vendor or through a third party, the price will not be any less, and in some cases you will actually pay more, whilst being offered a vastly inferior range of homes compared to those we can provide. The prices are set by the builder, and all prices within our literature are correct at the time of going to press. Going through a company such as ours has several advantages:
• You will get to see a wide range of properties that suit your requirements.
• You will have the benefit of our many years experience.
• It will eliminate any possible language problems.
• It helps takes away the stress and strain associated with house purchasing.

Q. What other costs on top of the purchase price can I expect?

A. The lawyer you choose will require a payment on account of half of the expected fees, with a minimum of £1,000. As a rough guide, in the case of a NEW property, the TOTAL costs (lawyer’s charges, land registry fees, notary’s fees, taxes, associates’ fees, bank charges etc) normally come to about 16% of the price of the property. In the case of a resale property the TOTAL cost is likely to be about 16%. In both cases, if the property is less than about £50,000 the percentage will be higher. If the property is over about £500,000, the cost will usually be a little lower.

These, of course, can at this stage be only the most general of estimates. There will be additional legal charges, fees and taxes if you are taking out an Italian mortgage or if you choose to buy in the name of a company. Your lawyer will give you an estimate of these costs when they know more about your plans.

Q. Do I need permission to purchase a property in Italy?

A. No.

Q. Is there a limit to how often I can use my Italian property?

A. If you are thinking of staying in Italy for a long time, or moving there permanently it is essential that you obtain an Italian tax code or Codice Fiscale. This is the Italian equivalent of our National Insurance number and tax code. Without this you will be unable to open a bank account, purchase property, or work and do any kind of business in Italy. Living in Italy for any length of time without obtaining a Codice Fiscale is at times extremely inconvenient and at other times impossible. It is possible to obtain your Codice Fiscale before going to Italy through the Italian Consulate in London (www.embitaly.org.uk). It is of course possible to obtain your Codice Fiscale in any of the tax offices situated in the provincial capitals in Italy. It is a very simple process but you may have to queue for a short time.

Q. Do I have to be in Italy to complete the transaction?

A. The seller and the people buying the house are usually required to attend in person to sign the documentation. However, if this is inconvenient, arrangements can be made for a Power of Attorney to be granted enabling another person to attend on their behalf. This must be in Italian and signed in front of a notary. Your lawyer can prepare this and it can almost always be signed in the UK/ROI. Most clients usually appoint someone in the area to act for them and sign on their behalf. Your lawyer will discuss the best course of action in your case.

Q. Can I transfer money in and out of Italy freely?

A. Yes.

Q. In whose name should I purchase the property?

A. There are a number of ways to purchase the property (but it is highly recommended that you decide on this prior to going ahead with the purchase):
• In your own name
• In the joint names of you and your husband or wife or copurchaser(s)
• In the names of your adult children or in the name of somebody who will eventually inherit the property from you
• In the name of a UK/ROI limited company, or a company incorporated in an approved jurisdiction.

Q. Should I make a will for my property in Italy?

A. It is strongly recommended that once you have purchased a property in Italy in your own name, you instruct your lawyer to prepare a will. You are allowed to have a will for your Italian assets only, without replacing the main will you may have in your own country. Most common types of will are also signed at the Italian Notary and are strictly private and confidential.

Q. Is there Inheritance Tax in Italy?

A. Yes but it is known as Succession Tax. In October 2001, the Italian Parliament approved Law No 383/2001 abolishing inheritance and gift tax. The new regulation of gift tax provides the general rule that no taxes are levied on gifts between spouses and other relatives to the limit of the fourth degree of relationship. Where the beneficiary is not related to the donor, gift tax will be payable if the asset transferred is worth more than 180,759.91. In this instance the tax payable (“imposta di registro”) will be payable of the value of the asset exceeding the above amount.

Q. Do you have resale properties I can view?

A. Not at the moment. We have chosen to concentrate on new build properties within this area. The situation may well change in the future.

Q. What’s the main benefit of buying a brand new property?

A. You should never be able to buy it cheaper! Once a similar property becomes a resale, it will probably be offered furnished, with a shorter guarantee, or with someone else’s profit added!

Q. Will the property I purchase be freehold?

A. Yes. All properties we sell are what we would refer to as ‘freehold’.

Q. If I buy a new property, will I be able to inspect it before I complete?

A. Yes, you will usually be able to make inspections at any time. On completion you will be invited to inspect the property, and make the builder aware of anything that is not to your complete satisfaction. Until the full terms of the contract have been met, you are not required to make your final payment. Even after you have the keys, anything you may subsequently discover that requires rectification should be brought to the developer’s attention for correction.

Q. Are mortgages easily available in Italy?

A. Yes, although loans will only be advanced after your ability to repay has been established. As a private buyer, you will have to be prepared to supply evidence of income and all expenditure before lenders will be prepared to make an advance. In other words, they will wish to see that you have sufficient spare income each month with which to make repayments. If you are buying as a company, full accounts showing sufficient clear profits after tax to make the repayments will be required. Normally you will be able to borrow up to 75% of valuation.

Q. Will I have to pay a reservation fee?

A. Once you have found your ideal home a reservation fee of 3,000 will be required. This will ensure that the property is taken off the market and held for the agreed period. If you do not go forward with the purchase, expect to sacrifice the reservation deposit. You could also set up an account with a foreign exchange company, prior to purchasing, so that money can easily be transferred as and when needed. This is a simple process and costs nothing to set up – see ‘money transfers’ on our website.

The reservation fee forms part of a legal contract, which fixes the price as agreed at the time of payment, and guarantees you will not be affected by any future price increases. This sum will be held by the developer and a promissory contract of sale will be drawn up for your agreement and signature. You (or your lawyer) will be expected to sign this about four weeks after your reservation. If you wish, further transactions regarding the property purchase can be completed in your absence by granting Power of Attorney to your agent or legal representative. At this stage, you must pay 50% of the purchase price. The balance is then payable upon completion.

Q. Should I use a UK solicitor?

A. This isn’t necessary unless he/she is a recognised specialist in overseas property law, as your solicitor would still have to use a local Italian lawyer, and therefore you could be liable for two legal bills! All communication from your Italian lawyer will be in English, so don’t worry about understanding legal documents.

Q. What if I want to become an Italian resident?

A. Italian regulations state that anyone who lives in Italy for more than 183 days a year (around six months) should have official residency. There is no advantage in full time residents not applying for full residency, and this simple process can be done at the local department of immigration. You will also need to apply for a Tax Number at the local tax department offices, although your lawyer can do this on your behalf. This is also required by non-residents if they have any connection with the Italian tax system – for example owning a property, buying a car, or opening a bank account.

Q. Can I still receive my pensions or benefit if I live in Italy?

A. Your UK/ROI retirement pension or other benefits can be paid directly into your bank account at home or abroad. For further information, visit the following websites: UK - www.dss.gov.uk ROI - www.welfare.ie.

Q. What is the cost of living like in Italy?

A. The cost of living in Italy is relatively low. A couple with no mortgage could easily live on 300 per week and still eat out regularly. This certainly makes any pension or benefits you receive go further.

Q. Should we learn the language?

A. No, but as with anywhere in the world, knowing some of the language, even just a few words, will always help in your day-to-day dealings with the locals. For the more serious, there are low cost language schools that cater for students of all ages and all ability. We recommend that you look in the local English press when you are in the country.

Q. I have children, what are the Italian schools like?

A. If you’re looking to arrange your children’s education in Italy, you can choose between the state system and international schools. Italian state schools provide free education. Lessons are taught in Italian and school is compulsory for children aged 6 to 14, with current education reforms raising this to 16. The education system comprises Scuola Elementare (primary, ages 6-10), Scuola Media (secondary, ages 11-13) and Scuola Superiore (high school, ages 14-18). At the Scuola Superiore level, students have a wide choice of curriculum – sciences to fine arts, classical to modern languages, plus more career-oriented options. To enrol a child at school, you will need their birth certificate, health records (details of illnesses and immunisations) and school reports from their previous school. Very young children can attend nursery schools, Scuola Materne or kindergarten, Asili Nido - either public or private. In addition, international schools remain popular with expatriate families, particularly those who have relocated for work and plan to return home. Lessons are mainly taught in English and follow an American/British curriculum, so there is consistency for children, should they move back home.

Q. Is it possible for me to work there?

A. Anyone from an EU country who becomes a resident in Italy and has obtained a Tax and Social Security number has the right to work in Italy without a work permit, providing they have a valid passport. However, to ensure that your taxes are paid and that you are employed legally, you will need to apply for a residence permit (Permesso di Soggiorno).

Q. How do I go about finding suitable employment?

A. There are several options open to you …
• Obtain copies of the following newspapers and specialist publications, all of which contain situations vacant:
Benns Media Directory Europe
International Herald Tribune
Wall Street Journal Europe
Overseas Job Express

• Place an advertisement in the expatriate and Italian press publications containing ‘situations vacant’ and the ‘situations wanted’ sections
• Apply to international recruitment agencies acting for Italian companies. These companies mainly recruit executives and key personnel
• Log on to the internet, there are literally hundreds of sites for job seekers including corporate websites, recruitment companies and newspaper job advertisements (you can use a search engine to find them).

Q. Can I take my dog or cat to Italy?

A. Pets may be taken to Italy, although you will need a health certificate from an authorised vet, issued within 15 days of departure, and a certificate of vaccination against rabies. You will also need a certificate declaring that the animal has been kept in an area free from animal diseases. All these certificates must be stamped and legalised by the Italian consulate. Your pet must also have a microchip inserted. For more information, call:
UK - The Pets Travel Scheme on 08702 411710
ROI - The Animal Health and Welfare Division on 01 607 2827.

Q. What is driving in Italy like?

A. Generally, it will only take a few days to get used to driving on the right. Many of the road signs are the same as at home and in our experience people adapt very quickly. After all, it is just part and parcel of the adventure! The roads in Italy are normally well-maintained, and apart from coastal areas in August, they are far less congested than here. The motorways are fantastic too and can be worth paying a few Euros tolls for!

Q. Can I drive my UK/ROI registered car over there?

A. Yes, if you are spending less than 183 days in Italy each year. Italian residents cannot drive a car on foreign plates. If the car you are driving is left hand drive you can transfer to an Italian plate.

Q. How do the Italians treat foreigners who live there?

A. You will undoubtedly find your local hosts to be very tolerant, extremely family orientated and friendly. As you probably already know, Italians love children – not only their own, but anyone else’s! Italy’s recent economic growth means that the Italians are enjoying life to the full, particularly in Calabria where new foreign arrivals are seen to be contributing to the financial growth of the region.

Q. What about healthcare?

The healthcare system in Italy is extremely efficient and available to all EU residents. As a British or Irish resident, you are entitled to get healthcare through the public system in countries of the European Union (EU), European Area (EEA) or Switzerland if you become ill or injured while on a temporary stay there. this is obtained by appying for a European Health Insurance Card.

Q. What healthcare am I entitled to as a permanent resident of Italy?

A. Once you have a residence permit, you can register with the local health authority, the L’Unita Sanitaria Locale or USL, to obtain your national health number. You can then register with a doctor, a medico convenzionato. When you visit your doctor’s surgery, or ambulatorio, be prepared to wait as there are no appointments – the system is first come, first served. If the language barrier is a problem, the British Embassies hold contact details for English-speaking doctors in your area. The Italian national health system, the Servizio Sanitario Nazionale or SSN, offers low-cost healthcare of a good standard, with well-trained and dedicated doctors, though waiting lists can be long. The top private hospitals rival those of any country, while state hospitals vary in quality with little in the way of home comforts, hence the popularity of private health insurance. The best thing is to ensure you’ve adequate private health insurance, this usually comes as part of your travel insurance anyway.

Q. Can I use my electrical appliances from home in Italy?

A. The electricity supply in most of Italy is 220 volts AC, with a frequency of 50Hz. If you are bringing any electrical appliances that are not compatible, you will need new plugs or adapters. However, it is probably cheaper and easier for you to buy these goods in Italy.

Q. What happens with regular bill payments such as water and electricity?

A. Your lawyer will ensure all your services have been connected to a new property, although you will be asked to obtain the necessary direct debit mandate forms from your Italian bank. Make sure that the branch rubber stamps these before you take them to the lawyer, as there will otherwise be delays. All utility bills can be paid directly from your local Italian bank account.

Q. Can I rent my property out?

A. Most certainly. We can introduce you to reputable rental agents whilst on your trip or nearer to completion. It is normally better to go to the rental agent closest to the property you have purchased. However, you will also find that some of the major developments offer their own property management service. Italian rental agents normally offer a key holding/management service for which a monthly charge will be made. They can also find tenants for you and will agree, prior to the booking, the net amount you will receive after they have deducted all of their charges. They normally also offer a preparation service. That is to say if you have a friend who wants to rent your property from you, they will clean the property, change the sheets and so on, for a fixed fee that they will confirm with you in advance. When discussing your requirements with us, tell us that you are mainly interested in buying rental property, and we can then allow time to discuss this aspect of the purchase with you. But remember you should declare any income to the Revenue Office that you bring back into the country. The department should be able to answer any specific questions you may have. For more information, please visit:
UK - www.hmrc.gov.uk ROI - www.revenue.ie.

Q. What about annual running costs?

A. This depends on the price of your property and when you buy. As a guideline, annual running costs for an average priced two/three bedroom property will be somewhere between £1,000 and £1,500/ 1,500 and 2,250. This will include water, gas, electricity, local rates, community fees and house and contents insurance.

Q. Can I take my existing furniture out to Italy?

A. The short answer is yes. Should you be moving on a permanent basis, you may well want to take some or all of your existing furniture, as well as your prized possessions. After all, you may have spent a long time accumulating what you have and it will make the transition easier. The best option is to use a property removal expert who will ensure all items are packed safely whilst in their possession and transported to your new home with a minimum of fuss.

Q. What about furnishing my property from scratch?

A. “Where can I go for furniture?” and “Could my property be supplied furnished?” are two questions we are frequently asked. If you are already familiar with Italy and its wide range of furniture stores … then you will probably have this already in hand. That’s assuming you have time to make the arrangements.
Here’s how we can help in a number of ways:
• We can advise on those developments that offer furnished properties or furniture packs readily for sale and discuss this with the sales team on your behalf.
• You can discuss your requirements with a member of staff whilst you are in Italy … with their local knowledge they will know the best places to shop for the type of products you require.
The essence of this is simply that we can offer you a complete service, so that your new property is one hundred percent right for you … inside and out.


The information contained in this document was believed correct at the time of going to press but we cannot guarantee its accuracy. You should always seek independent professional advice and check the up-to-date position before entering into any property-related transaction. PD Estates aim to deal only with local developers overseas whom it reasonably believes to be reputable. However, PD Estates can offer no assurances as to the financial status of any developer over the period of any particular project. Any decision to acquire or invest in overseas property is a significant one and ultimately rests with the client. There are risks involved and independent professional advice should be sought. Circumstances can change and the value of property can go down as well as up.