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General Guidelines

 While you are looking for housing  you will learn that there are no hard and fast rules about the condition and appearance of property in Italy.
 You may be lucky enough to find the property you like in perfect condition. On the other hand, an otherwise suitable housing solution might need some attention. The tenant is usually expected to clean and paint the property, either as he moves into the property or when he moves out. In any case, at the end of the contract, the property must be returned to the owner in the condition in which it was handed over.
There are various types of rental contracts:-
4+4 year contract which usually requires a minimum rental period ( normally at least  a 1 year period) after which it is possible to give 3 or 6 months advance notice . For diplomatic clients there is a clause to provide only 2 months notice of early departure.
3+2 contract “Canone Concordato” where the owner is obliged to respect the rent control official agencies indications. Also with this contract a 1 year minimum period is usually required after which one can be released from the contract giving 3 or 6 months notice. For diplomatic clients there is a clause to provide only 2 months notice of early departure.
Transitory Contract – 'Canone Concordato' where the owner is obliged to respect teh rent control official agencies indications used for rentals from 1 -18 month periods. (The client is obliged to provide evidence of the length of their work contract to justify the transitory nature of such contracts. 
 Gas, electricity, telephone and internet  bills are always paid by the tenant, new contracts  should be  drawn up with the utility companies in the tenant’s name . Bills are normally bi-monthly.
Garbage Tax
 The tenant  must register at the Municipal Tax Office for the subscription to the trash/garbage removal service. The cost is calculated on the basis of a formula which takes into account the number of square meters occupied, and the number of people  living in the property. The bill is sent to the tenant on a twice yearly basis and can be paid in installments.
Cost of Living Increase
Rental amounts are increased  yearly  by ISTAT  (cost of living index for the families of workers and employees, approximately 0.75%) . On the other hand if the owner has chosen to register with “Cedolare Secca” this increase cannot be requested.
Rent Payments
The monthly rent is paid in advance together with the condominium expenses. Some owners, particularly with transitory contracts,  may request the payment for the entire period in advance or bi-monthly payments.  
Security Deposit
Usually the tenant is required to pay the owner the equivalent of 2 month’s rent as a security deposit,  paid by bank transfer. It will be returned to you at the end of your stay less any amount to cover damages and/or any outstanding payments within 90 days. Please note the deposit cannot be used as the last month's rent.
Condominium Expenses
Besides the rent, the tenant must pay the condominium expenses, these generally include cleaning and maintenance of the building; water supply; the cost of running and maintaining the elevator; the porter's salary; gardening costs and heating if this is centralized, etc. These condominium expenses are variable, depending on the size of the apartment and the type of heating used. The management company of the building draws up an estimate of what the yearly expenses are expected to be, and these estimated expenses, broken down into appropriate payment periods, are paid in advance, with the rental payment. At the end of the administrative year the estimate  will be compared with the actual costs and the tenant will be expected to pay the difference if the costs are higher, or will be given a credit if they are lower. In a private villa there are not any condominium expenses.  On the other hand, if the villa is in a private complex with doorman and gardens there will be condominium and consorzio fees to be paid.
Registration Tax
Please note this tax only applies to contracts without Cedolare Secca. The yearly registration tax is 2% of the year's rent, divided equally between the owner and the tenant. The stamps duty is paid by the tenant. If the client decides to depart before the end of the contract, there is a cancellation fee to be paid to the registry office, this fee is to be paid by the party that gives notice. Both parties are responsible for registration and cancellation taxes. 
Tenants are responsible for the upkeep and the ordinary maintenance of the property and its contents including the  electrical  appliances. In case of dispute regarding the cause of a breakdown, the opinion of a technician is normally accepted. Any extraordinary maintenance costs will be covered by the owner. If you are planning to rent a furnished or semi-furnished property you should know that according to the Civil Code the tenant is responsible for ordinary repairs and maintenance of the property and its contents, while the owner is responsible for major repairs.
Unfurnished property in Rome means completely empty: Semi-furnished properties will typically have the kitchen and some wardrobes  installed. Furnished housing is relatively complete. However, it usually does not include bed linens, towels, plates, cutlery, pots or pans, however some owners are willing to provide these.

Handover of Property
The tenant is expected to return the property in the same state in which it was been handed over. If a property has been painted upon entry for example, it must normally be returned in the same state. As specified in the rental contract, any alterations to the property needs written approval from the owner beforehand. Owners will retain money from the security deposit if the property is not returned clean and in suitable condition. 
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