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The Ins and Outs of Finding Housing in Italy to Establish Residency to Apply for Italian Citizenship

Renting in Italy can be a challenge, especially for foreigners who are seeking residency in order to apply for Italian citizenship. In this blog post, we will discuss the ins and outs of finding housing in Italy, including the challenges you may face, the costs involved, and the types of housing available. We will also discuss how ICC can help you find housing in Italy and secure your Italian citizenship.

Are you thinking about renting in Italy? If so, you may be in for a challenge. The Italian rental market is notoriously difficult for foreigners, with many landlords reluctant to rent to non-Italians. In addition, the Italian rental market has its own unique quirks, such as the long lease terms and the high cost of contract registration.

What are the difference between renting in Italy and the US?

The housing market in Italy is quite different from what you’re likely used to in the U.S. First of all, leases generally last longer than they do in the states—typically three or more years, during which time your landlord can’t raise the rent. Apartments often have a washing machine, but not a dryer. Italians hang their laundry out to dry. And unlike in the U.S., unfurnished apartments sometimes come without kitchen counters or appliances.

Finding a Property

The first challenge you'll face is finding a property. There is no central MLS in Italy, so you'll need to search for properties on third-party websites like Idealista, Immobiliare, and Subito. However, even these websites can be difficult to navigate, and many listings are outdated or inaccurate.


Another option is to use a real estate agent. However, many agents in Italy are reluctant to work with foreigners, and they may not be familiar with the specific requirements for renting to foreigners. In addition, agents in Italy typically charge a commission, which is equal to 1-2 months of rent.

Property Owners

Even if you do find a property that you're interested in, you may still face challenges. Many property owners in Italy are reluctant to rent to foreigners, especially if they don't have a strong rental history or a high income. In addition, some property owners may not be willing to register the rental contract with the tax authorities, which is a requirement for foreigners who are seeking residency in Italy for the short-term to apply for recognition of citizenship.

Securing a Property

Once you've found a property that you're interested in, you'll need to secure it. This process can be quite complicated, and there are a number of factors you'll need to consider.

  • The deposit: In Italy, it is customary for tenants to pay two months' rent as a deposit. However, some landlords may ask for three months' rent or even more.

  • The prepayment: Some landlords may also ask tenants to prepay the rent for the first year or two. This can be a significant expense, so it's important to factor this into your budget.

  • Proof of income: In order to rent a property in Italy, you'll need to provide proof of income. This could be a tax return, a pay stub, or a letter from your employer.

  • The tax-registered contract: To apply for recognition with residency in Italy, you'll need to have a tax-registered rental contract. This means that the landlord will need to register the contract with the tax authorities. This can be a costly process for the landlord, so some landlords may be reluctant to do it.

Length of Lease

The length of the lease is another important factor to consider. In Italy, the standard lease term is three years, with an option to renew for another two years. However, some landlords may be willing to offer shorter lease terms.

Inside the Rental Home

Once you've secured a property, you'll need to decide what type of rental you want. In Italy, there are two main types of rentals: unfurnished and furnished.

  • Unfurnished rentals: Unfurnished rentals are the most common type of rental in Italy. These rentals typically do not come with any furniture, kitchen cabinets, or appliances. You'll need to provide your own furniture and appliances, which can be a significant expense.

  • Furnished rentals: Furnished rentals are less common than unfurnished rentals, but they are becoming more popular. These rentals come with furniture and appliances, which can save you the hassle of having to furnish the property yourself.


In addition to the rent, there are a number of other costs associated with renting in Italy. These costs include:

  • Contract drafting: The landlord will ask for you to pay 50% for the cost of drafting the rental contract. However, if you want to have an English-language contract, you may need to pay for the translation in full.

  • Registration with Agenzia delle Entrate: The landlord is responsible for registering the rental contract with the tax authorities. However, if you're seeking residency in Italy, you may need to provide a copy of the registered contract to the immigration authorities.

  • TARI: TARI is a waste collection tax that is paid by all residents of Italy. The amount of TARI you pay will depend on the size of your property and the municipality where you live.

  • Utilities: You will be responsible for paying for your own utilities, such as electricity, gas, and water.

  • Maintenance: The landlord is responsible for maintaining the property. However, you may be responsible for minor repairs.

How ICC Can Help You Find Housing for Your Recognition

For our Essential and Concierge Apply in Italy clients, Italian Citizenship Concierge will arrange your short-term (6 -12 month) rental home to live in during your recognition process. All you need to do is fill out your housing survey and pack your bags.

We have an established network of property owners who offer short-term, fully furnished apartments and houses that are registered with the tax authorities. We negotiate the terms of the contract on your behalf, register the contract, and assist you with registering for residency.

  • Find a property that meet your needs: We have a network of property owners, so we can help you find a property that meets your specific needs, such as location, size, and budget for your short-term recognition process.

  • Negotiate the terms of the contract: We will negotiate the terms of the contract on your behalf, ensuring that you get the best possible deal.

  • Register the contract with the tax authorities: We will register the contract with the tax authorities, so you don't have to worry about doing it yourself.

  • Assist you with registering for residency: We will assist you with registering for residency, ensuring that you have all the necessary documentation.

For our Academy applicants, you have access to our step-by-step on demand videos and workbook that share with you the exact steps we take to find homes and negotiate with property owners, we have included templates of leases, examples of registrations and we are there to support you with our weekly Q&A sessions and on-on-one support calls.


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