Deposito Prezzo: Protecting Your Italian Property Purchase

Are you considering buying a property in Italy? If so, you may have heard the term “deposito prezzo” and wondered what it means. In this blog post, we’ll explore what this is and how it can protect your investment in an Italian property.

What is Deposito Prezzo?

The term “deposito prezzo” refers to a specific bonded holding account for the balance of payment related to the purchase of an Italian property. In 2017, the Italian government introduced this provision to protect buyers from the risk of legal claims or encumbrances that may arise between the signing and registration of the deed of sale at the land registry (catasto).

Why is Registration of the Deed of Sale Important?

Registration of the deed of sale is crucial as it provides legal protection for the buyer. Until the final registration of a property sale, buyers remain at risk of adverse legal issues coming to light. For instance, the property might have outstanding debts or a pending legal dispute that could affect the ownership transfer. In some cases, a buyer may discover that a third party should have been involved. For example, if a property was inherited by multiple siblings, and only one sibling sold the property without the consent of the others, the buyer may later discover that the sale was invalid because all siblings needed to be involved in the transaction The deposito prezzo provision can help protect buyers in this type of situation by ensuring that the purchase price is held in a secure account until all legal issues related to the property’s ownership are resolved.

Therefore, it is important for buyers to check their copy of the deed of sale after registration to ensure that it is correct in every detail. Some common errors that might occur include misspelled names, incorrect property dimensions, or incorrect tax identification codes. If such errors go unnoticed, they could cause problems down the line when reselling the property.

How Does Deposito Prezzo Work?

Buyers face the risk of unexpected debts or legal claims arising between the signing of the deed of sale and its registration. To mitigate the risk of undisclosed mortgages or tax liens, buyers can request that the notary keep the balance of the purchase price in a separate bonded holding account until registration is complete. This is pursuant to the deposito prezzo provision. The provision allows the notary to hold the buyer’s funds in a secure account, releasing them only after finalization of registration formalities.

Without deposito prezzo, the vendor who owes a significant amount of back taxes can sell the property to a buyer, and the buyer could then become liable for these debts, even though they had no knowledge of them at the time of purchase. With deposito prezzo, the notary keeps the buyer’s funds in a secure account until the registration process is complete, and the vendor resolves any potential legal issues.

Effects of Deposito Prezzo

At least one of the parties to the transaction must request deposito prezzo. The notary must then open a holding account specifically for this purpose, which is entirely separate from their personal assets.

For example, a buyer purchasing a property in Italy can use deposito prezzo to ensure that they have protection for their funds in case the vendor faces any legal issues or has undisclosed debts. By doing so, the buyer can have peace of mind knowing that their investment is safe and secure until the registration process is complete.

Note that the notary also protects money held in the account from their own creditors, providing an additional layer of security for both parties involved in the transaction.

Optional Choice of Deposito Prezzo

The protection of deposito prezzo is optional, and when signing the deed of sale, the buyer can opt to use or waive it. However, it is advisable to communicate ahead of signing the decision to make use of deposito prezzo so that the vendor and the notary can prepare for this.


Deposito prezzo provides an additional layer of protection for buyers of Italian properties. It ensures that the notary keeps the balance of the purchase price in a separate bonded holding account until completion of the registration formalities. This provides assurance to both the buyer and the seller that there are no legal claims or encumbrances on the property. While deposito prezzo is optional, it is a wise choice for buyers to consider when making a property purchase in Italy.

Have you ever experienced issues between signing the deed of sale and completion of registration formalities when purchasing a property in Italy? If so, what sort of issues did you encounter and how did you resolve them? Sharing this information with other readers can be helpful in promoting a better understanding of the importance of measures like deposito prezzo for protecting buyers’ interests in Italian property transactions.

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