YEAR 2017 N.º 3

ISSN 2182-9845

Italian residential tenancies: history and perspectives

Ranieri Bianchi


tenancy law; contract law; housing; rental market; housing market; tenures; stability; affordability.


Since the beginning of the 20th century, Italian residential tenancies have been regulated through various special statutes, with the common purpose of protecting tenants with mandatory rules aimed at stability and affordability. In this context the mainly dispositive rules regarding tenancies in the Italian Civil Codes have always had a residual application. Since the last general reform in 1998, the residential sector has experienced a “controlled liberalization” which had to cope with the significant changes in the housing market in the years prior to and after the beginning of the economic crisis. This article provides an overview of the regulatory framework for tenancies, highlighting the successes and difficulties of this sector which, despite its progressive reshaping in favour of homeownership, still plays a crucial role for the housing needs of our society

Table of contents

1. Historical introduction
2. The current Italian housing situation
3. The main features of Italian tenancy law
4. Rent control
4.1. Clauses on rent increase
5. Duration and termination of contract
6. Form and registration of tenancy contracts
7. Change of landlord and “emptio non tollit locatum” principle
8. Change of tenant and succession in the contract
9. Subletting
10. Duties of guarantee by the landlord
11. Deposit
12. Termination for breach
13. Eviction and social measures protecting tenants
14. Conclusions