6 Questions to ask Before Renting a House in Milan
A helpful guide to renting an apartment in Milan, Italy by an expert at Nestpick global real estate search platform
What fees do I need to pay?
You need to make sure that you have enough money saved up to enter into a rental agreement. Most agencies and private landlords will ask for the first month’s rent up front along with a refundable deposit equal to two months’ worth of rent. Some landlords and agencies may ask for additional months’ rent up front. If you rent through an agency rather than directly through the landlord, then you can also expect to pay another two months’ worth of rent as a commission.
Being an immensely popular city to live in, rent prices in Milan are not the cheapest. However, if you rent directly from the homeowner, you may be able to negotiate with them to bring down the monthly rental price. Agencies are stricter on this kind of thing so it’s probably not something you could get away with when dealing with them.
What does the rent include?
It’s important that you know exactly what you’re paying for when you agree to your rent price. For example, does it include the price of bills or do you need to pay them separately? This is important when determining whether a house or apartment meets your budget.
Rent prices in Milan typically don’t include things like the electricity and gas bills, Wi-Fi, apartment maintenance, or a cleaning service. Things such as garbage tax and an annual inspection of your heating system are often included.
Arredato or non-arredato?
This is the terminology to look for when deciding if a house or apartment is furnished or unfurnished. Knowing which of these a property falls under is incredibly important because an unfurnished house or apartment will likely be completely bare of all fixtures and furniture. This means you’ll need to factor kitchen utilities such as a fridge/freezer and washing machine into your budget as well as furniture like a bed and sofa. It is easy to find short-term lets that come furnished, but unfurnished properties are more common for longer term rentals.
How long is the tenancy for?
For long-term lettings, there are two common contract types: 3+2 and 4+4. The first number refers to the length of the contract you are agreeing to in years, while the second number is the number of years you can renew your contract for. So, a 4+4 contract refers to a four year contract with the opportunity to extend the contract for an additional four years after the initial period is up.
The other contract type, a transitory contract is used more for short term lets, allowing tenants to set a contract of between 1 month and 18 months. This kind of contract is popular among students moving to Milan for a year studying abroad, for example.
Can I renew or extend my contract?
If you sign a transitory contract, then it is unlikely that you will be able to renew or extend the agreed upon contract length. As mentioned above, 3+2 and 4+4 contracts allow you to renew your contract for 2 or 4 years, respectively. For these contract types, the lease will be automatically renewed unless either the landlord or the tenant gives notice of termination beforehand. After this first renewal, the contract may be renewed for a further period of time as long as notice is given.
Can I terminate my contract early?
If you wish to terminate your contract early and have valid reasons for doing so, then you must give at least six months’ notice before you intend to vacate the property and end the contract. The same goes for the landlord, who can demand that the tenant vacate the property for valid reasons with six months’ notice.
Renting in another country can be a minefield, but arming yourself with these six questions and knowledge of the various practices and terminology used in Italian real estate will put you in a good position for getting a good deal and a happy home when you move to Milan.
Article by Chiara Colombo for Nestpick.com
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