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Posted by Richard Greenbury on May 17, 2018

Dwelling (Dimora)

An urban real estate unit consisting of one or more rooms and accessory areas:

  • built with those requisites that make it suitable for use as the permanent residence of one or more persons.
  • having at least one independent entry from the outside (street, courtyard, etc.) or from common areas (landings, terraces, etc.);
  • separated from other housing units.

Real estate agent (Agente immobiliare)

An individual registered pursuant to Law 39/1989, qualifi ed to provide real estate services
including brokerage, consultation and valuation.

Real estate agency (Agenzia Immobiliare)

An organization that offers real estate brokerage and technical consultation services and companies licensed to operate as an individual person and legal entity, registered in the List of Real Estate Agents pursuant to Law 39/1989 and subsequent amendments and integrations thereof.

Furnished (Arredato)

A real estate unit supplied with furniture and furnishings so as to make it useable and suitable for its intended use.

Brokerage (Intermediazione)

Intermediary activities aimed at bringing together the wishes of two or more parties in the negotiating of contracts and other related activities.

Building authorization (Autorizzazione Inizio lavori)

Permit issued by the Mayor free of charge for the carrying out of certain building rehabilitation works (generally extraordinary repairs and maintenance, etc.).

Rent (Affitto)

Monetary consideration, generally periodical, for the tenancy of a property, in conditions of free negotiation, excluding accessory expenses (condominium, heating, etc.).

Confirmatory down payment (Deposito Cauzionale)

The confirmatory down payment consists of a sum of money or a quantity of other goods, which one party has given to the other at the time of the stipulation of a contract. If the party that has given the down payment defaults, the other may withdraw from the contract, keeping the down payment as compensation for damage; if instead the other party which received the down payment defaults, the other may withdraw from the contract and demand double the amount of the down payment.
However, this is only a right attributed to the unsatisfied creditor, who may, if they prefer, insist on the performance of the contract or request its cancellation, in following with the general regulations. In this case the down payment shall constitute, in the hands of the person who received it, a guarantee for the payment of the damages that will be settled by the judge.
If the contract is fulfilled, the down payment must be returned or ascribed to the sale price.
Note that the amount paid as an advance on the price cannot be considered as a down payment, unless the parties have agreed to attribute this function to it.

Premium (Caparra)

If the right of withdrawal for one or both parties is stipulated in the contract, the premium serves only as compensation for the withdrawal.
In this case, the withdrawer loses the premium given or must return double that which they have received.

Cadastre (Catasto)

An office that keeps a general inventory, for fiscal purposes, of the real properties in a municipality (Comune) or Province. The cadastre is divided into the Land Registry Office and the City Property Registry Office.

Cadastral category (Categoria Catastale)

Division for cadastral purposes of real estate units according to use, i.e.: A (dwellings), B (collective buildings), C (warehouses, shops, garages), D (buildings used for entrepreneurial purposes), E (special buildings).
Further distinctions are made within these categories, depending on the characteristics of each real estate unit of the various building types.
For example, dwellings are divided into nine categories: A1 are luxury buildings, A8 are single-family homes, and A4 are low-rent flats (public housing).
Each category is then further divided into classes, which identify the quality and state of the building; in some cases there may be as many as 20 classes for a single category, with a great range of values.

Certificate of habitability (Certificato di abitabilità)

Administrative act issued by the Municipality attesting the compliance of the building with the parameters established by the laws regarding hygienic and sanitary characteristics suitable for habitation.

Certificate of fitness for use (Certificato di idoneità)

Administrative act issued by the Municipality attesting the compliance of the building with the parameters established by the laws regarding hygienic and sanitary characteristics suitable for other than residential use.

Mortgage certifications (Certificazione Ipotecaria)

Statement issued by the Land Registrar at the provincial offices of the Land Agency regarding mortgage formalities which have been executed on one or more real properties belonging to one or more firms (individual persons or subjects other than individual persons).

Assignment of contract (Cessione del Contratto)

Assignment of contract means the replacement of one of the contracting parties (TRANSFEROR) with a third party (TRANSFEREE) in the entire juridical situation deriving from the contract.
It is a taking over not only of credits and debts, but of all the assets and liabilities pertaining to the entire juridical contract.
As opposed to assignment of credit, which is done simply by the agreement between the transferor and the transferee, the assignment of contract also requires the CONSENT of the PAST CONTRACTING PARTY.
The transferor is released from his or her obligations toward the past contracting party, unless the latter has declared not to release them.

Cadastral classification (Classificazione Catastale)

Operation consisting of assigning each urban real estate unit or plot of land consisting of cadastral parcel to a category and a class to which it belongs.

Cadastral class (Classe catastale)

Division within the cadastral category based on different qualitative levels and incomes ordinarily derivable from the urban real estate unit.

Penalty clause (Penale)

The evaluation of the damages deriving from the breach of a contract may present difficulties and uncertainties. In order to avoid them, the parties may put a penalty clause into the contract that establishes BEFOREHAND the amount that will be due as compensation for damages in the case of breach. The defaulting party must then pay the agreed penalty, without the creditor having to give proof of having actually suffered damages. The parties may agree that the penalty shall constitute the minimum amount due in any case of breach of contract, with the creditor maintaining the right to claim additional compensation when they can prove that the damage actually suffered EXCEEDS the penalty amount. Without this agreement, the creditor may not claim more than that established in the penalty clause.

Termination clause (Clausola risolutiva)

Not every breach justifies the cancellation of a contract.
If it is simply a matter of a small inaccuracy in the performance or a slight delay or the nonfulfillment of an secondary service of little importance, cancellation can be ruled out.
In these cases, the creditor may bring suit only to have the debtor ordered to fulfill the contract and to compensate the damages.
Therefore the judge has a certain power of evaluation as concerns the importance of the breach. If the parties wish to limit the extent of this judicial evaluation, they may put a clause in the contract that provides for its cancellation in the event that a given obligation –  or obligations, provided that they are specifically indicated – is not fulfilled or is not performed complying with the terms established. With reference to these specific instances of nonperformance, the clause takes away from the judge the power to deny the cancellation if he or she does not consider them sufficiently serious. It may happen, however, that the creditor of the unperformed service prefers to continue the contract: the law offers this possibility, establishing that the cancellation will take place only if, following the non-performance, the creditor declares to the other party that they wish to avail themselves of the termination clause.

Client (of the real estate agency) (Cliente dell’agenzia immobiliare)

Anyone (individual person or legal entity, public or private body) who requests brokerage services and technical advice regarding real estate and companies.

Composition of the real estate unit (Composizione dell’unità immobiliare)

Makeup of an urban real estate unit consisting of “main rooms” (bedrooms and kitchen with natural direct lighting) and “direct accessory rooms,” that serve the main rooms and are essential (bathrooms, storerooms, entryway, hallways, etc.).

Joint ownership (of real property) (Proprietà Comune)

Ownership common to two or more persons.

Suspensive condition (Condizione Sospensiva)

The contract may provide that its provisions (or some of them) may be effective or ineffective upon the occurrence of an uncertain future event. This is a condition.
The condition is said to be condition precedent if the negotiating effect dependent upon it is lacking earlier and is destined to become effective in the case in which the condition occurs.
If instead the negotiating effect is immediately effective but is destined to become ineffective in the case in which the condition occurs, it is called a reslutory condition.

Condominium (Condominio)

Coexistence of common parts of a building, of which the individual co-owner is a joint owner of an undivided share.

Building amnesty (Condono)

Amnesty for illegal building work by means of the payment, by whoever did the illegal work, of sum of money as a fi ne.

Land registry (Conservatoria)

Office at which transcriptions and creations of mortgages on real properties are registered.

Report of Start of Activities (DIA) (Denuncia di inizio Attività)

The Report of Start of Activities (Denuncia d’Inizio Attività – DIA) regards minor building works, mostly changes or modifications in existing buildings; may be authorized by means of “silent consent.”

Right of habitation (Diritto di Uso)

The right to inhabit a house limited to the needs of oneself and one’s family. The inhabitation is a limited type of usufruct.

Right to withdraw (Diritto di recesso)

The right to free oneself from a contractual tie.
Normally, after entering a contract, a unilateral withdrawal – i.e. the right to free oneself from a contractual tie by means of a statement communicated to the other party – is not allowed. However, in some contract relationships, the law gives one of the parties the right to withdraw at any time or upon the occurrence of given conditions. It is important above all to point out that the right to freely withdraw from a contract is granted by the law, normally in continuous or periodic contracts entered for an open term. In these cases, each of the parties may bring an end to the relationship by means of a simple statement, apart from the obligation of giving the other party appropriate advance notice. In all continuous or periodic contracts the withdrawal is not effective for the services already performed or in progress. The right to withdraw may also be established by an agreement between the parties (conventional recession).
If it is not a continuous or periodic contract, this right may be exercised only before the performance of the contract begins, unless otherwise agreed.

Building lease (Diritto di Costruzione)

The right to build and maintain upon the ground owned by someone else a construction of which ownership is acquired.

Right of use (Diritto di uso)

The right to make use of a property and, if fruit bearing, to pick the fruits limited to the needs of oneself and one’s family. It is a limited type of usufruct.

Gift (Donazione)

A contract by which, in a spirit of generosity, one party enriches another, providing them with a right or claim or assuming an obligation towards them.

Heredity (Eredità)

The whole of legal relationships, assets and liabilities, of an estate that upon the death of a person is passed on to their successors.
Expropriation Procedure for the acquisition of privately owned areas or properties by a public body, in the public interest for collective purposes.
It is an instrument for the implementation of town planning for acquiring the areas necessary for the creating of public works, economic and public housing, industrial or production zones.

New building (Nuovo edificio)

A construction built new from the foundations to the roof in observance of town-planning regulations that is not more than 5 years old.

Recent building (Edificio recente)

A construction built 5 to 30 years ago.

Renovated building (Edificio ristrutturato)

A construction that has undergone considerable repair work.

Old building (Edificio vecchio)

A construction built over 30 years ago.

Map sheet (Planimetria catastale)

Portion of land used in cadastral maps. The sheets are numbered progressively and separately for each municipality and are composed of parcels.

Mortgage (Mutuo)

Right of lien in favor of an institute that disburses a loan, guaranteeing it against the risk of insolvency on the part of the borrower.

First mortgage (mutuo con ipoteca di primo grado)

Mortgage registration that makes it possible to be the fi rst creditors to collect the proceeds from a sale under execution for the insolvency of the borrower. It is the fi rst mortgage registered on real estate.

Second mortgage (Mutuo con iscrizione ipotecaria di secondo grado)

Mortgage registered on a property already encumbered by a fi rst mortgage.

Mortgage inspections (Visura ipotecaria)

Consultation of the registers, of the formalities and of the titles fi led at the Land Registries of the provincial Land Agency offices.

Cadastral microzone (Zona catastale)

Portion of municipal territory or census zone that is uniform as regards position and urbanistic, historical-environmental and socioeconomic characteristics, as well as in the services available and urban infrastructures. It is identified by one or more contiguous sheets, or part of them, that are part of the cadastral map and that belong to the same municipality.

Loan (Prestito)

A contract by which one party (lender) gives to another party (borrower) a certain amount of money, which the borrower binds themselves to pay back along with interest over a given time period, or an extended maturity loan which provides for the repayment at periodic intervals of shares of principal and the payment of stepped interest. Loans can be fi xed, variable or mixed rate depending on whether the interest to be paid remains the same or changes over time.

Mortgage loan (Mutuo ipotecario)

A particular type of medium- to long-term loan secured by a mortgage on real properties in favor of the bank that grants the loan.

Bare property (Nuda Proprietà)

Real right remaining after the establishment of usufruct on a real property.

Cadastral parcel (Particella Catastale)

The cadastral parcel is a continuous portion of land or building belonging to the same possessor, provided that it is of the same quality or class, and has the same zoning. Cadastral parcels are identified by the sheet number of the cadastral map and by the parcel number (or letter).

Building permit (Permesso di costruzione)

Paid permit, issued by the Mayor, upon presentation of a plan, of the right to carry out all the activities that bring about the urbanistic and building creation or transformation of the municipal territory.

Preliminary agreement to sell/promise to sell (Preliminare di compravendita)

Deed by which the parties bind themselves to close a property sale.
The deed must indicate: the personal data of the seller, the cost and characteristics of the real property, the method of payment and the date of the closing. The personal data of the buyer may be omitted in the deed and made known before the notary.

First home (Prima Casa)

The first house owned or possessed by a person, for which tax benefits are available.

Irrevocable proposal (Proposta Irrevocabile)

A contract proposal is irrevocable not only in the cases provided for by law (e.g. in a contract with obligations only for the proposer) but also each time that the proposer is obligated to keep it unchanged for a certain period. In this case it does not lose its effectiveness following the death or the incapability of the proposer, unless otherwise provided for by the nature of the deal or by other circumstances.

Ownership (Diritto di Proprietà)

The right to enjoy and dispose of things fully and exclusively, within the limits and in compliance with the obligations established by law.

Agrarian income (Reddito Agrario)

Income attributable to whomever (owner, lessee, etc.) uses agricultural land; it is represented by the sum of the interest of the working capital and of the consideration for management work.

Farmland income (Reddito Agricolo)

Income attributed to the possessor of a plot of agricultural land; it is represented by incomes deriving from land ownership before taxes. It is established by the cadastre on the basis of the quality of the land divided into different production classes, expressed in valuation rates.

Condominium rules (Regolamento di condominio)

The set of rules within a condominium, which regulates the aspects regarding the use of common properties.

Cadastral income (Rendita catastale)

Gross average ordinary income obtainable from an urban real estate unit, previous to the deduction of expenses and any losses and before taxes.

Residence (Residenza)

The place where a person has their regular dwelling.

Agency head (real estate)

Real estate agent, legal representative or director with general powers of attorney, head of the services provided by the real estate agency.

Tacit renewal (Rinnovo tacito)

When tacit renewal is provided for by the contract, if there is no cancellation of the insurance by the insured party according to the term provided for in the contract, it is automatically renewed for a duration of one year.
In the case of a regularly notified cancellation, according to that provided for in the contract, the insurance coverage will end upon the expiration of the contract and there will be no application of the 15-day grace period provided for by Art. 1901 par. 2 C.C.

Renovated (building) (Edificio ristrutturato)

Building in which recent renovation works have been done.

Building renovation (Ristrutturazione)

Work aimed at transforming buildings by means of a systematic set of works that can lead to a building wholly or partially different than the preceding structure.
They include:

  • the restoring or replacement of some building elements, the elimination, the changing and the adding of new elements, systems and installations;
  • the reorganization of the spaces in buildings and real estate units, of their number and their dimensions;
  • the changing of the zoning of buildings, according to that regulated by regional laws;
  • the transformation of accessory rooms into residential rooms;
  • the modification of structural elements;
  • the works for expanding areas.

Notarial deed (Rogito Notarile)

Public contract drawn up by a notary.

Subaltern (Subalterno)

Identifies the specific real estate unit, or real estate unit number, in a building.

Succession (Successione)

The complete or partial taking over of the legal relationships belonging to a person, on the occasion of their death.

Variable/Adjustable rate (Tasso a regime variabile)

Interest rate applied to loans in the loan redemption period, which is determined according to methods and indexation parameters agreed upon in the contract.

Agricultural land (Terrene agricolo)

Plot of land or farmland not susceptible to urban development on the basis of the town planning instruments in force, the zoning of which is exclusively for agricultural use or the construction of rural-type buildings for farm use.

Developable land (Terreno edificabile)

An urban area that may be built upon on the basis of the town-planning instruments in force.

Adverse possession (Possesso)

Acquisition of the ownership of real property and of other real property rights on said properties by virtue of continuative possession for a number of years defined by law.

Usufruct (Usufrutto)

Real right to enjoy another’s property and its fruits, having possession but not ownership.
It is of temporary duration and is understood to be established for the entire duration of the life of the usufructuary and in any event it is extinguished upon the death of the usufructuary.
It cannot be for more than thirty years if established in favor of a legal entity.

Sale (Vendita)

Contract regarding the transfer of ownership of a house or of another right through payment of a price.

Block sale (Vendita a corpo)

A contract for the transfer of ownership of all or part a real property, regardless of the actual measurements of the real property.

Sale based on area (Vendita a misura)

A contract for the transfer of ownership of all or part of a real property, made on the basis of the actual measurements of the real property.

Oppressive clause (Clausola vessatoria)

A clause is oppressive when its content is in contrast to or violates the regulations that protect the consumer in contracts between consumers and professionals (Art. 1469b, Civil Code et seq.)

Title search (Ricerca del titolo di proprietà)

Consultation of cadastral deeds and documents. The search makes it possible to acquire identification and income data on real properties (land and buildings). It is also possible to consult the map and cadastral updates and the planimetries of urban real estate units.
Copies of databank results can be issued at the provincial offices of the Land Agency, upon payment of the required fees and taxes.

Census zone (cadastral) (Zona catastale censuaria)

A continuous portion of the municipal territory that is uniform as regards environmental and socioeconomic characteristics and that has real estate units that are similar in type and in period of construction.


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