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Renting in Italy

What you need to know

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March 24, 2020

Renting in Italy – What you need to know

Renting in Italy will most probably not be like the same experience in your own country. It’s a mess! Trying to keep it as simple as possible (for now) there are 3 types of residential property rentals in Italy.

  • Long Term Rentals (3-8 years)                     (Affitti lungo)
  • Short Term Rentals (1-18 months)               (Transitorio)
  • Vacation Rentals (29 days or less)            (Case Vacanze)

Traditionally long term rentals in Italy are considered to be between 3- 8 years which are usually unfurnished. You may be lucky to get a kitchen. If they are furnished the furniture is most likely dated and in need of some maintenance. There is also a lot of bureaucracy and high entry costs involving anywhere between 3-6 months Security Deposits and / or a bank guarantee, topped off with a 3 – 6 months Cancellation  Policy. Then there’s the maintenance responsibilities, which to be fair can be a grey area in any country, but Italy is no exception and extra care is needed to clarify responsibilities before signing ‘the contract’.

Short term rentals that fall in the duration between  1-18 months, most likely will come with furniture intact, slightly lighter entry costs and exit conditions.

Vacation Rentals, like everywhere now, have pushed up the prices of medium – long term rentals in Italy. In Italy the maximum vacation stay contract is 29 days. While these rentals have pushed up the prices they have also increased the quality of the longer rentals with owners preferring monthly rentals after the ‘honeymoon period’ is over let’s say where the owners try managing a vacation rental and then grow tired of check in, check out and maintenance issues. Short term rentals offer them a good compromise of accessibility and income so we get a lot of these owners listing with us, and we encourage our owners to offer easy renting conditions ie the security deposit and cancellation policy can be quite unfriendly in Italy.

We accept Landlords that offer a maximum of 1 or 2 months security deposit and cancellation policy.

The following info will not involve info about vacation rentals but instead focus on the short term and long term rentals in Italy.


There are many but these are the 4 main rental contracts that are used in Italy:

  • Transitory contracts (USO TRANSITORIO)

for stays of 30 days up to 18 months


designed specifically with students in mind as the length is only from 6 to 36 months.


three years and may then be renewed for an additional two years.


four years and can be renewed for an additional four years.


transitory rental contract



The exact contents of a contract will vary from apartment to apartment, and tenant to tenant but should include at least the following information:

  • The landlord’s and the tenant’s personal details
  • Property details
  • Energy Performance Certificate (Attestato di Prestazione Energetica or APE)
  • Contract length including exact start and end dates
  • Monthly rent and what that includes
  • Expenses – What are they and what are the costs. Utilities bills are usually changed to the Tenants name.
  • Security Deposit – can be up to 3 months rent, and some owners require a bank guarantee.
  • Cancellation Policy – for both Tenant and Landlord and usually is governed by full calendar months.
  • Maintenance – The terms and conditions relating to upkeep of the property. For example in Italy the Tenant is responsible for maintaining and certifying the boiler annually, air conditioning servicing and re gas. If the property is rented with a working TV the owners expect a working TV at check out.



  • Garbage – Must be changed to Tenants name for contracts 1 year +
  • Condominium – the cost of maintaining the building
  • Gas – usually changed to the Tenants name.
  • Electricity – usually changed to the Tenants name.
  • Internet/Wifi
  • TV tax – now added into the electricity bill.



  • Codice Fiscale – Italian Tax number (How to get one)
  • Passport (a must for Non EU Tenants) or Government ID (an option for EU Tenants)
  • Employment Letter
  • University or Course – Letter of enrolment



What is cedolare secca? Cedolare secca is a tax subsidy offered to private owners on any rental income received. Currently at the time of publication of this article, owners who apply the cedolare secca, pay only 21% on the rental income. There are a few catches, mainly being the tenant must be a private individual, as opposed to a company. As an extra bonus, if the monthly rent is a fair price which is calculated using a formula created by the Agenzia Entrata the owner could pay only 10% if the contract were a 3 x 2 (3 years + 2 years). The owner will NOT qualify to apply this tax regime if your company will pay the rent and insists the rental contract be in the company name. There are obviously, more in-depth technical points so please consider this a summary only.



First of all what is a ‘Lettera Raccomandata con Ricevuta di Ritorno’?

It is a Registered Letter. In Italy, if you have long term property rental contract and would like to terminate the contract early you must send to the owner a formal request via ‘Lettera Raccomandata con Ricevuta di Ritorno’.

Email, whatsapp or an sms are not enough.



EU residents aren’t required to have a job in order to get an apartment, however most landlords will require proof of income before allowing you to move in.

Non-EU residents will need to prove their legal residency in order to get an apartment and provide the owner with a:

  • Employment contract
  • Letter of Enrolment – University or Language course etc

Rental contract durations will be limited to the length of the enrolment or employment.



  • Real estate agents or brokers

Agents in Rome charge 1 month or even 10% of 1 years rent as commission, in Milan it can be up to 2 months rent as commission. They do however mediate and ensure a fair rental contract is drafted.

  • Private- directly with owners

Dealing directly with the owner you will save on the agency fee and can negotiate directly. On the downside you will not be ensured fair rental contract and will most likely have to work harder searching for options.


Apartment for rent Appartamento in affitto
Room in a house Una Camera
Casa Entire House
Rental Contract Contratto di affitto
3 years + 2 years contract uso abitativo 3×2
Up to 18 months contract uso transitorio
Between 6 months – 18 months contract uso studenti universitari
Owner Locatore / proprietario
Tenant Conduttore / affittuario / inquilino
Real Estate Agent agente immobiliare
Private (directly with owner) privato
Studio monolocale
2 rooms (rooms in general) bilocale
3 rooms (rooms in general) trilocale
4 rooms (rooms in general) quadrilocale
2 bedrooms Due camere da letto
floorplan planimetria
bed letto
bathroom bagno
Furnished Arredato
unfurnished Non arredato
Lift / elevator Accensore
Balcony / Terrace Balcone / Terrazza
Dishwasher Lavostoviglie
Washing machine Lavotrice
negotiable trattabile
Monthly rent Il canone
utilities utenze
heating riscaldamento
Common building expenses spese condominiali
Deposit / Down Payment caparra
Security deposit Cauzione /
To sign firmare
Exclusive esclusivo
Availability disponibiltà
Garage Box auto
parking Parcheggio
Doorman portiere
Floor / storey piano
Air conditioning aria condizionata



This article is meant for educational discussion and it contains only general information about legal matters. It is not legal advice, and should not be treated as such.

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Category: Rome, Blog, Milan