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Will British Citizens still be able to buy a house in Italy with Brexit?

With the current health emergency due to the covid-19 pandemic, the uncertainties due to Brexit, and the world transforming and reshaping at an ever-increasing speed, it seems that there is a growing need for certainties.

Many British are wondering what the consequences of the UK’s exit from the European Union (Brexit) will be, and specifically, our customers are wondering how it will work from now on, for those who intend to buy a property in Sardinia or more generally in Italy.

To date, buying property in Italy is possible for most countries in the world, thanks to the so-called Reciprocity Agreements, which allow citizens of the respective states (Italy and a foreign country) who have an agreement between them to equalize their citizens (albeit foreigners) with Italian citizens in terms of rights. For those few remaining states where there are no reciprocity agreements, citizens do not enjoy these benefits, with all that this entails also in terms of the possibility of buying real estate in the Italian territory.

So, based on that premise, British citizens will still be able to buy property in Italy, even after January 1, 2021.

Therefore, as they are no longer citizens belonging to the EU, they will be able to buy residential properties such as holiday homes, second homes, or investment properties, bought for an income with short-term rental formulas.

In any case, as non-residents, you can spend up to 180 days a year in the Italian territory, but no more than 90 days every 180 days.

If, on the other hand, a British citizen wishes to live in the house in Italy full time (or, in any case, spend more than 6 months a year there), he will have to apply for the residency, but this will only be possible if he meets certain criteria for according to the Immigration law.

However, there are international buyers who are overcoming the problem as they are retiring to Italy since they have been married for years to a spouse with a passport from one of the European countries. This greatly simplifies the process of obtaining the residence in Italy.

Taxation

Purchase taxes and local taxes are lower if you purchase as a resident.  However, it must be considered that buying as a resident could also lead to being considered a tax resident (with all the consequences of taxation on personal assets and / or profits), so buying as a non-resident is generally easier.

Healthcare and Insurance card

As for access to health care, the government just announced that anyone with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) – which allows you to get free medical care in the EU – will remain valid until it expires.  For the future, the Government plans to introduce a new program (GHIC – UK Global Health Insurance Card).

NB: Please note that the information contained herein, and in general in any pages of this website, is of a general nature. The subject matters covered in this document are complex and you should seek professional advice on how they apply to your individual circumstances.