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Buying house guide: What is the Notary?

The notary is a public officer to whom the Italian State has entrusted the task of producing all deeds between living persons as well as last wills and testaments and endowing such documents with public trust.

In addition to family relationships, on which he or she is among the leading experts, and questions of succession, the notary is involved in many areas, including: real estate conveyancing (purchase and sale of homes, offices, land, warehouses, workshops, donations, subdivisions, mortgages etc.); important changes in company structure, whether it be a one-person firm or a corporate entity (constitution and winding up, amendments to the bylaws of the company, sale and leasing of businesses, etc.).

The Italian notary is subject to stringent checks by the State that help further increase the safety of the client for whom he performs work. All notarial deeds, in fact, are subject to periodic inspection by the Department of Taxation (every four months) and the Ministry of Justice (every two years), to verify that the correct amount of tax has been paid and that the deeds comply with the law.

Notarial District Councils, on the other hand, oversee the notary’s professional conduct.

Should irregularities be detected, the notary undergoes disciplinary proceedings with possible penalties; these are entrusted to independent regional disciplinary commissions presided over by a magistrate.

This ensures the absolute impartiality of any decisions.

On behalf of the State, the Italian notary collects the taxes linked to all deeds (registration tax, mortgage and cadastral taxes, etc.).

Each year through its online network the notarial system pays in several billion euros of indirect taxes and capital gains without charging the State any commission, even if the client does not pay what is due.


Source: Italian Notarys' society (Consiglio Nazionale del Notariato)

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