There are many foreigners who dream of buying a house or any other form of real estate property in Italy. However, it is important to first understand the laws that govern land buying issues by foreigners in Italy. The current legislature provides the following conditions and distinctions for foreign nationals seeking to buy real estate property in Italy:

Photo from Sean MacEntee

1. Foreigners who do not reside in the country can buy property in Italy if there is an international treaty that permits a material condition of reciprocity between their country of origin and Italy. This is a treaty that also allows Italians to buy a house in the foreigner’s country of origin. It is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that periodically verifies reciprocity between Italy and other countries such as the United States or UK just to name a few. Notaries are not allowed to draft any forms of property buying contracts involving citizens from “non-reciprocity” countries.

>> The Ministry of Foreign affairs stipulates that reciprocity is not required under the following conditions:

  • If the foreigner is an EU citizen
  • A “resident alien” in Italy
  • If there is a treaty between Italy and the foreigner’s country such as Canada that allows mutually requested activities including purchases, companies and so on.

2. Foreigners residing in Italy legally, their family members who are in good standing, and stateless persons who have lived in Italy for no less than 3 years are eligible to buy property in the country without the need for verification of a condition of reciprocity if they have a residence permit for:

  • Employment or self employment
  • Sole proprietorship
  • Family reasons
  • Humanitarian reasons
  • Study
  • And if they have a long-term EC residence card.

3. There are no special requirements for citizens of EU countries, EEA countries such as Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway, and stateless persons or refugees who have resided in Italy for more than 3 years seeking to buy property in Italy.