MBA Italy

Accommodation in Italy

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In Italy, major cities and touristic areas have a good variety of accommodations, from brand hotels to family-managed bed & breakfast and room rentals.

Farm stays are a more and more popular way to experience Italy, particularly in rural areas of Tuscany, Piedmont, Umbria, Abruzzo, Sardinia and Apulia. It provides a large combination of healthy food and good, extraordinary sights and not-so expensive prices.

Rental Market

Italy's rental market is strong and it's possible to rent every kind of property, from a small studio apartment (bedsitter) to a huge rambling castle (castello). Property rentals are frequently privately owned, but include properties owned by companies and public housing owned by local councils.

Property prices and rents vary significantly according to the region and city. In major cities such as Rome and Milan, rented accommodation is in high demand and short supply, and rents can be expensive. In cities and large towns, apartments are much more common than detached houses, which are rare and prohibitively expensive.

In Italy, most rental properties are let unfurnished (non-ammobiliato), especially for lets longer than one year, and long-term furnished (ammobiliato) properties are complicated to find.

When you rent a place, it is necessary to register to the town hall. The local tax (Tassa di Registro) is paid 50% by the owner and 50% by the tenant.

In Italy, there are around 38,000 hotels. Hotels have rates fixed in agreement with the Provincial Tourist Board. A good number of hotels quote all-inclusive rates, which include taxes, services, heating and/or air-conditioning system. Hotels are classified by stars, from 1-star (basic) to 5-Star (luxury). The Italian word for hotel is albergo. The smaller hotels are called a pensione.

There is also Day Hotels (Alberghi Diurni) in Italy. They offer baths, showers, barbershops, hair dressers, shoeshine, dry cleaning, telephones, baggage checking and private rooms for brief periods. Day hotels are usually found downtown and in the surrounding area of railway stations. They are usually open from 6 am to midnight.

Apartments and Villas
The costs of apartment rentals are inversely related to the distance from the center of the town, and there is also a big difference between large and small towns. Tenants in an apartment must have compulsory insurance and pay service charges. They usually pay other utilities such as gas, electricity and water separately. So, it is convenient that you check whether rent is inclusive or exclusive of charges.

In Italy, there are two kinds of rental contract:
  • Free Market Contract: Is for four-year renewable for an additional four-year period in which the tenant and landlord agree on the terms and conditions.
  • Convention Contract: Is a three-year contract with a two-year renewal option.
Luxury apartments, public housing and tourist apartments are exempt from free market contracts. If you rent an apartment, house or villa through an estate agent, you can sign a rental offer with the agent; this is legally considered a pre-contract.

Before moving into the apartment or villa, it is necessary to do an inventory. You can report the condition of fixture, the state of furniture, and everything that is damaged or in need of repair.

Besides that, you can find accommodation in private homes (elenco di affittacamere), religious institutions (convents, monasteries) and in residences (Rooms or flats for long-terms stays)

Where to look for accommodation

There are many ways to look for accommodation:
  • Small advertisements in local newspapers and magazines
  • Buy newspapers as soon as they're published and start phoning immediately. In Italy, there are other sources like expatriate publications published in major cities such as Wanted in Rome and small newspapers such as Porta Portese (Wednesdays and Saturdays) in Rome, La Pulce (Florence) and Secondamano (Milan).
  • Internet
  • A lot of advertisements are published in the internet, and all major newspapers have websites. Many people use the internet to advertise property for rent or for sale as well.
  • Get Walking
  • While you are walking, you could find properties with a ‘to rent’ sign (affittasi or da affitare) in the window, it is very important to be quick and contact the owners immediately before someone else rents it.
  • Accommodation and letting agents
  • In most Italian cities and large towns there are estate agents available (agenzie immobiliari). These agents act as "letting agents" for owners; it is often better to deal with them than directly with owners, especially when it comes to contracts and legal matters. Some estate agents also provide apartment listings in their real estate magazines, such as Solo Casa in Rome.

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