Building Contract in Italy: Your Rights and Responsibilities

Embarking on a construction or renovation project in Italy? Don’t let legal issues and disputes ruin your dream home. The key to a successful project lies in having the right building contract that clearly outlines the terms and conditions for all parties involved. Whether you’re constructing a new property or renovating an existing one in Italy, a well-drafted building contract is an essential tool to ensure a smooth process from start to finish.

The Importance of A Building Contract in Italy

A building contract is a crucial document that acts as a legal framework and reference point for construction or renovation work. In addition to outlining the terms and conditions for construction or renovation work, such as the basis of remuneration, time scale, and penalties for non-compliance, it should outline the scope of work, risks, duties, and legal rights and liabilities of both the contractor and the property owner.

As a complex legal document, written in Italian, seeking the guidance of an experienced Italian property attorney is advisable when drafting a building contract.

Building Contract: Italian Contractors Obligations

The contractor is responsible for guaranteeing the quality of the final work and must observe the general technical criteria relating to the commissioned work. The contractor also has an obligation to verify the feasibility of the project or the instructions provided by the property owner. If the property owner’s instructions are incorrect, the contractor can only avoid liability if they are able to provide proof that they expressed their disagreement about the instructions.

Consideration of Geological Features of Building Land

In Italian contract law, the contractor, architect, and surveyor are responsible for investigating the building land to identify any geological characteristics that could affect the construction work. In accordance with Italian law, the contractor, architect and surveyor must investigate the building land according to Italian contract law to identify any geological characteristics that could impact construction work. Failure to consider these characteristics and resulting defects or foundation failure will result in joint liability. Additionally, The property owner can hold the contractor liable if incorrect project information results in construction flaws due to defects or unsuitability of the land.

Liability of Property Developers

If a property developer involves third parties in constructing a building but acts as a project manager to coordinate construction activities, the court will hold the project manager liable for any proven defects in work that are attributable to the property developer’s sphere of exercise and control. On the other hand, if the property owner suffers damage due to a fault made by the contractor and project manager, the court will hold both parties jointly liable for the damage.

Project Management: Liabilities and Duties

In Italian law, there are two types of project manager. Firstly, the contractor’s project manager is responsible for ensuring that the execution of the construction work is carried out correctly, organizing and coordinating the construction activities, and meeting all health and safety legislative requirements for all workers and third parties involved. The contractor’s project manager plays a crucial role in the construction process, and their actions can significantly impact the outcome of the project.

Secondly, a property owner may choose to engage a project manager to oversee the construction work on their behalf. The property owner’s project manager has a different role from the contractor’s project manager. Their primary responsibility is to check that the work corresponds to the project plan and to report any deviations or issues to the property owner. The property owner’s project manager serves as the liaison between the property owner and the construction team and plays a vital role in ensuring that the project is completed according to the owner’s specifications and expectations.

It is important to note that both types of project managers must work closely with the contractor, architect, and surveyor to ensure that the construction work meets all legal requirements and that any issues or concerns are addressed promptly. Failure to comply with legal requirements can lead to significant liabilities for all parties involved.


Building or renovating a property in Italy requires a thorough understanding of the legal obligations and liabilities of all parties involved, including contractors, architects, surveyors, and project managers. It is always advisable to seek legal advice from an experienced Italian property attorney to ensure compliance with the Italian law and regulations.

Have you had any experience with building or renovating a property in Italy? What challenges did you face, and how did you overcome them? We invite you to share your experience with us in the comments section below.

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