A guide to national and regional regulations when short-term letting in Rome, Italy
Italy’s tourism has increased significantly over passing years, and with it, the amount of investment into the property market throughout the country has grown. The purchase of every possible tourist property type has provided an active market for not only the Italians but also for international investors.
Whether they’re looking for high-end villas in the country, historic townhouses and modern apartments in the city centres, the smart investor is utilising Italy’s property market to capture a worthwhile return on their investments.
The rules and regulations differ from region to region. We would always recommend that anyone considering investing in Italian property, or potential landlords adding to their portfolios, research the terms and conditions of their chosen region or city thoroughly. The information we provide in this, and in any of our guides, is purely a guide for information purposes. For full legal stipulation and individual requirements relating to your circumstances, we recommend you seek professional landlord and taxation advice. Also, of the various processes, you must follow to be able to supply legal accommodation.
Offering more than one property for lease isn’t seen as business activity in Italy
The magic number, for an investor to remain just that and not considered as a business in Italy, is 4 properties. A single owner can provide accommodation at each of their 4 properties without the authorities’ permission. However, they are still bound by a host of rules and regulations (and taxes).
You must provide a written contract for short-term rentals
For any rental period less than 30 days, the host (or landlord) must provide a written contract, although, it won’t be required to be presented to the tax office or the local authorities. For longer-term lets, contracts must be registered with the Italian Tax Agency. Taxes on long-term rentals stand at 2% of the total rent. Bookings carried out over the short-term letting platforms such as Airbnb, HomeAway or Booking.com all include some form of contract with the website, but this is not the same as the contract required to be completed between the guests and their hosts, as required by the Italian authorities. If a stay is for longer than 30 days, then the contract will have to be presented for tax office registration. This also pushes the host into a business operation as opposed to a short-term let. Short-term rental contracts are only necessary for furnished tourist apartments. If your property falls under any other category, then the written contract isn’t required.
There are 2 options for short-term let taxes in Italy
The national tax systems are fairly complicated, but to cover the basics, there are 2 options that hosts can choose between.
The standard IRPEF scheme
Personal income tax rates in Italy range from 23% to 43%. Depending on the host’s circumstances, adding any income from their property rentals and offsetting the associated expenses may be the most economical option. The associated expenses can include any maintenance, upkeep or enhancement work carried out on the property, advertising and marketing costs, and also management fees charged for services provided by an outside agency. For a full breakdown of what you can and can’t claim against your standard income tax when letting a property, you should consult a tax specialist, and one who is fully conversant with Italian law. However, Italy also offers a specific lower tax rate exclusively for income generated by non-professional leases.
The Cedolare Secca tax system
The Cedolare Secca tax system is an alternative to standard income tax, specifically for lease generated incomes, and offers a preferred lower flat rate of 21%.The system is only available to non-professional operators and can’t be utilised by companies or business managers. The drawback is that the flat rate applies to your total income and doesn’t allow the offset of any expenses.
You must declare each of your visitors to the Italian Police
Wherever you choose to operate your short-term let in Italy, you must tell the police about every guest who stays in your accommodation for stays of less than 30 days.
This service is available online, but you’ll have to visit your local Police HQ to set up an account and request access to the Allogiati Web portal. As well as making your guests complete the written contract as described earlier, you are also bound to provide photographic evidence of their identification. This should either be a passport or national ID card or certificate; you should carry out this operation at the time of check-in. Once you’ve gathered all of the required information, it must be supplied to the Police straight away.
Hosting rules specific to Rome
The first of the differences Rome brings into play is the number of properties a host can operate drops from 4 to 3. Hosting more than 3 properties constitutes as a business operation and therefore will be required to register an SCIA (Segnalazione di Inizio Attività) and to file for business taxes. If the host offers any additional service other than the rental of the furnished property, it is also seen to constitute business operation. This can be something as simple as arranging taxis for guests or providing food and drink. Cleaning of the property and the provision of fresh linen, however, is included in the provision of a furnished tourist apartment category.
The basics steps into providing property as a furnished tourist apartment in Rome are as follows:
First, register your tourist let
Before you can offer a short-term rental in Rome, you must register the property with SUAR (Single Desk for Receptive Activities of the Tourism, Professional Training and Work Department).
Second, secure your CIR code
You will be provided with an identification code to determine your status as non-hotel tourist accommodation. This can be carried out online by providing a few personal details.
Finally, register for your tourism activity
Once you have your CIR code, you need to send it on to the regional tourism service. This adds you to the register as tourist accommodation.
Rome’s tourism tax
Rome has a tourism tax of €3.50 per person per night. Children under 10-years-old go free—everyone else has to pay. Guests only have to pay for a maximum of 10 nights. The sum is paid through the city’s website by its registered users. It’s up to the host to collect and pay the tourism tax. Each host must file their total tourist tax payments quarterly.