When buying a property in Italy, it is of fundamental importance to carefully check and verify the "titles of provenance", meaning the deeds through which the current owner came into possession of the property that you are about to buy.
This assessment must not only inquire into the last act, which gave the current owner possession, but also the previous titles of ownership, providing a clear view of the history of the property and verifying the correctness of each step that accompanied the changing titles, as these followed up to the present.
In fact, it can happen that some of the various passages of property titles were incorrectly transcribed, or that the some of the procedures were omitted. These omissions or inaccuracies could conceal the presence of active or passive easement rights, or the existence of certain constraints or formalities that had to be respected, such as agreements on reservation of title, or agreements with neighbors or with the municipalities in which the property falls.
Among the other checks necessary for those about to buy real estate in Italy, it is essential to verify that the titles of provenance do not contain any contracts of donation, as defined in Civil Code Article 769 and subsequent amendments.
In fact, third parties could seize the insertion of a real estate donation as a basis for legal claims.
Consider that almost all banking institutions, in order to protect themselves from the risks of third-party challenges, will not issues mortgages on any real estate where the provenance titles include a contract of donation. If a bank is not willing to take this risk (even if you don't need a mortgage to complete your new property purchase), why should you risk your money? There are solutions to bypass these problems, if necessary, but unfortunately the buyer is very often unaware of the presence of a previous donation title and therefore cannot put in place the appropriate tools for their protection.
To make a safe purchase, it is fundamentally important to reconstruct the history of transcriptions through the public Real Estate Registers, covering the twenty years prior to the date of the intended property purchase. As already noted in other parts of our site, in the Italian case the notary public represents the State, and always works with great professionalism and competence. However, the legal requirements for the performance of their duties are limited to the functions of stipulating the deed of sale and correctly transcribing it. When problems arise following a property purchase, such as in the matter of the certifications and self-sworn declarations produced to the notary by the Seller and their appointed technicians, the notary public is not responsible and cannot be called into question as a responsible person, because their legal obligations concern only their own functions. Although Italian law does provide for specific checks and controls in some areas, in other areas it does not. In some cases it is the Seller that would be responsible for non-compliant, ambiguous, or even illegal practices, but it is also true that it is not always easy to prove these responsibilities, and above all, the exaction of due responsibility typically follows on years of arguments and litigation. An accurate assessment and careful preventive measures are of fundamental importance to avoid running the risks, which are sometimes invisible to both buyer and seller.
Our certification, following verification of the above, will avoid any kind of problem, unwelcome surprise or dispute, before, during and after the purchase of your new property. And it will save you from long, exhausting and expensive legal proceedings in Italy, allowing you to benefit from absolute peace of mind and the pleasure of your new purchase.