Published On: Fri, Jan 12th, 2018

Ask the experts: House hunting and sharing ownership of a property

Our experts are here to help with all your questions about Italy. This month, visiting Le Marche on a house-hunting expedition, and sharing ownership of a property…

Visiting Le Marche

Q:

I am thinking about exploring the area of Le Marche next year, with a view to purchasing a property there. I have been to Tuscany and Umbria but the prices for property in those regions seem a bit higher than in Le Marche. Can you tell me a little more about the region before I go? Sarah Nicholls, by email

A: 

Le Marche is known as the hidden gem of Italy. Picture a place where mountains roll gently down to a stunning coastline and vistas tease your eyes towards another beautiful, medieval hilltop town.

Le Marche is brimming with ancient churches, castles, monasteries and theatres. Museums and art galleries are in abundance. There is a dazzling array of local cafés, bars and restaurants, each with its own distinct personality and a warm Italian welcome. The food is exceptional, seasonal and locally produced, cooked traditionally and served with love.

A visit to the Monti Sibillini National Park opens up the wonders of this mountainous region. As you make your way up into the mountains, you can see the vine-clad hills filling every available inch of land. Those same mountains transform during the winter months, and from November to February each year, lovers of snow and ski can experience the joy and freedom of resorts, snow parks and cross-country trails.

If beautiful sandy beaches are what gets you out of bed in the morning, the Adriatic Coast is a short drive away, with mile after mile of stunning Blue Flag beaches. Of course, it almost goes without saying, there are hundreds of vineyards and olive groves to explore, run by small families producing world-class wines and oil.

Dawn Cavanagh-Hobbs, Appassionata

Property Sharing

Q:

I’d like to know the legal requirements of property sharing in Italy. The joint ownership would not be with a partner but with a friend. Are the permissions the same as they are in the UK or are there any particular processes we need to be aware of?

Anna Palmer, by email

A: 

If you purchase a property in Italy with your friend, each of you will purchase the right to dispose of a 50 per cent share of the property. Both of you will have the right to enjoy the whole property in its entirety and you will be jointly responsible for the obligations strictly connected with the ownership of the property, such as council tax liabilities and land registry taxes.

In the future you will be able to sell or gift your 50 per cent share, but you will need your friend’s consent to sell the entire property. I would strongly advise you to make a Will to dispose of your individual share as your share will not pass to the surviving joint owner upon your death. In this respect, Italian co-ownership is more similar to the English concept of tenancy in common. The Italian form of co-ownership includes the both the leasehold and freehold. If the property is located within a residential complex or condominium, a share of the common parts of the complex/condominium is included in the purchase.

Laura Protti, LEP Law

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