"International law firm"

Due diligence

Our lawyers and our technical advisers :
Check that there are no pre-emption rights over a property and that there are no plans to construct anything (e.g. roads, railway lines, airports, shops, factories) that would adversely affect the value, enjoyment or use of the property.
Check whether there is a zoning policy (piano regolatore) in the town or area that may affect a property.
Check whether the property is subject to a compulsory purchase order.
Check rights of way (servitù di passaggio). Land may have a mandatory right of way (servitù di necessità) for a neighbor whose only access is via the land; this may be permanent or renewable.
Ensure that building permits and planning permissions are in order and that a property was built in accordance with plans and permits. Any modification, renovations, extensions or additions checked against the cadastral plan at the land registry.
In cases where a property has been inherited, check whether each inheritor has agreed  to the sale. Heirs who haven’t been contacted have up to five years to contest the will.
If a property was previously owned by a bankrupt company, ensure that the liquidator won’t reverse the sale and claim it for the creditors.
Check that there are no encumbrances, e.g. mortgages or loans, against a property or outstanding debts. All unpaid debts on a property in Italy are inherited by the buyer. If someone buys a property on which there is an outstanding loan or taxes, the lender or local authorithy has first claim on the property and has the right to take possession and sell it to repay the debt. Any debts against a property must therefore be cleared before to sign the deed of sale (rogito). Enquire at the town hall whether there are any unpaid taxes such as property tax or other charges outstanding against a property.
Check that there are no outstanding community (condominio) charges for the last five years (it may be possible for a vendor to pay the last year and ignore previous bills) and obtain copies of the co-ownership rules and the latest accounts of the community of owners (which should state whether there are any impending levies for repairs for which the new buyer would be liable).
Check that all bills for electricity, water, telephone and gas have been paid for the last few years. Receipts should be provided by the vendor for all taxes and services.
Before buying land, obtain a certificate from the local town hall stating what can be built on it and what the property and the land can be used for. It is important to check the size of dwelling that can be built on a plot or how far an existing building can be extended.
If the property is a listed building, check that the notary has made the necessary enquiries concerning state pre-emption rights and restrictions on use or resale.

This preliminary check is essential to avoid any future problems


the practise