Condition of reciprocity – what does it mean?
To ensure one foreigner purchases a house in Italy, it must be fulfilled the condition of reciprocity.
What does it mean? In simple words and making a practical example, if an Italian can buy a home in Canada, a Canadian can buy in Italy.
It seems like a simple rule, but it is not so easy. In theory it would be enough to check the condition of reciprocity, by reading the document at the following link http://www.esteri.it/mae/it/ministero/servizi/stranieri/elenco_paesi.html
It refers directly to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs page, but it is not probative and therefore requires further verification at embassies or directly controlling the laws of the country concerned.
Still it seems pretty simple, but I assure you that if in Italy we have a more complex system, but with a fairly simple consultation, other countries may not be so.
Take for example a case that I dealt with last year. A client of mine from Singapore wanted to buy an apartment with a small garden, in Orta.
I have asked that, in this procedure, work alongside the Notary Gatti, with offices in Omegna, which to me has managed many trades to foreigners.
Together we talked to the Foreign Ministry, with the Italian Embassy in Singapore, with the Singapore Consulate in Italy, with the Board of Notaries and, as a last chance, with an expert notary in non-European laws. But still we have not received convincing answers. An ancient law of Singapore, in fact, involves the non-reciprocity of land purchases (in Italian we use the term “latifundia” which is a word antiquated). In our case it was a garden of less than 100 square meters, not a vast plot, but none of the requested authorities confirmed to us the saleability of the land.
So, unfortunately, my client has been unable to purchase the garden.
This is just one case, to explain how difficult it is sometimes to know the effective application of the principle of reciprocity of real estate purchases.
Reciprocity regards the legal capacity of the subject that result in the nullity of the legal transaction put in place by the incapacitated subject. In other words, the deed of sale which transfers a property to a foreign person that does not apply the principle of reciprocity is null! And in Italy this is a very serious thing!
For the case of Swiss customers I decided to write a separate post that you can find at the following link Swiss
At the following link you can reach the pdf with the list of countries where it is permitted or not reciprocity, remember that it is a revision of the guidelines given by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but, unfortunately, no probative Reciprocità tabella
For any information about the process of buying a house in Italy, write to email@example.com, I will be happy to answer your questions.
Alice – www.ortalloggi.com