Rental agreement: what is needed and how to do it

Finding a home is one of the most important steps when arriving in a new country. Often it is not easy and many difficulties can be encountered. In this article you will find useful information and advice on the rental agreement, what documents you need to obtain it and be prepared.

Italian citizens or foreign born citizens with a regular residence permit can rent an apartment (alone or with their family/friends) or a room in an apartment where other people already live. The rent requires the signing of a document called the contratto di affitto (rental agreement).

With the contratto, the owner of the house and the interested person sign an agreement that allows the person to live in that house (or room) for a specified period of time, paying a sum of money each month.

In the contratto di affitto the landlord indicates to the affittuario (person who rents):

  • how much to pay each month;
  • which day of the month to pay the rent;
  • how long he/she will be able to live in the house;
  • what other expenses to bear (gas, electricity, water, internet, condominium)
  • the time necessary to cancel the contract and leave the house before the expiry of the rent
  • how much cauzione must be paid, i.e. the sum of money that the affittuario pays as a commitment to keep the house in good condition and not damage it. This sum will be returned at the end of the contract if the house is in good condition.

When the affittuario signs the contract, he must read it carefully and check that all this information is written in order to know the rental conditions. But the most important thing is that you understand everything. If you are not sure and the information seems unclear to you, you can ask for help from a trusted person who knows the Italian language well.

Renting a house means changing one’s domicile, but not always one’s residence.

Documents needed to rent a place

The documents you need to be able to rent a place are:

  • valid identity card or passport;
  • codice fiscale;
  • residence permit;
  • employment documents such as the pay slip and a copy of the Certificazione Unica (CU).

When you are about to rent a house, the landlord will ask you for guarantees to make sure that you are able to pay each month. Among the required guarantees are certainly your work documents. It may also require the signature of a garante (often the employer) and two to three months’ rent which you will have to pay in advance.

Registration of the contratto di affitto (rental contract)

According to Italian law, the landlord is obliged to register the agreement within 30 days of signing it with the Agenzia delle Entrate.

Registering the agreement has a cost, which the landlord and the tenant often pay in half.

Remember that if you have a low income and a duly registered rental agreement, you can get financial help from your municipality.

Important: If the contract is not registered, it will appear as “affitto in nero“. In these cases the contract is not valid and you will not be able to prove that you have accommodation in order to renew your residence permit.


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