As the grip of Covid 19 is relaxing many people are considering realising their long-held ambition of buying a house in Europe. The relaxed lifestyle, the Mediterranean diet and the temperate warmer climate in countries throughout Europe lure British nationals across the English Channel.  

Real estate remains one of the best investments and a well-positioned well-appointed house can prove a lucrative long-term investment beginning as a holiday home that can be let out during the spring and summer months, thereby generating sufficient income to pay the running costs.  In due course, the property can become the owner's retirement destination with the benefit of having well-established friends and acquaintances in the local village and surrounding area.

The most popular destinations are Spain, France, Italy and Portugal.  The UK's exit from the European Union has not created the problems predicted.  Expert legal guidance through the legal and regulatory landscape enables British nationals to avoid the pitfalls.

Giorgio Bianco, a partner, commented "Giambrone & Partners brings to our clients the advantage of extensive expertise across the range of risks and adverse issues that may arise and cause a transaction to falter if it is not carefully managed." Giorgio further remarked "the purchase process may appear to be very similar across Europe but it is essential that clients are protected from such risks as heritage debts being attached to a property and also the lack of planning permission with regard to illegal extensions and adaptations to the construction of a property which render the property valueless."

British nationals are often unaware of factors and laws that impact on the purchase agricultural land in many countries.  Those countries where agricultural land is considered to be strategic resource foreigners may be subject to regulations and rules related to such land.  In Italy land adjacent to existing farm land is subject to pre-emption rights whereby the farmers with land abutting the property being sold must be offered the chance to buy the land first and only after the offer has been made and rejected can the purchase go ahead.

The purchase of even a modest property is a considerable financial outlay and most people cannot afford avoidable losses, the legal costs of satisfactory due diligence far out ways the costs of discovering illegal defects that must be addressed or, worse still, buying a house that cannot be lived in.

The advice to have experienced real estate lawyers to guide you through the purchase process is not given lightly; having first-class legal advice can make a considerable difference to the success of your transaction. Giambrone & Partners  have offices and lawyers in the countries and regions that British nationals frequently choose as their destination of choice and with 15 years of experience in providing thorough due diligence and assisting British nationals to successfully own a home in Europe our lawyers enjoy an enviable record as highly knowledgeable real estate lawyers across Europe.

Giorgio Bianco is a partner, he leads the Sardinian office, the Tunis office and the Lyon Office

Giorgio has been a qualified Italian lawyer registered at Bar of Sassari (Sardinia) since 2011.He is also registered as a lawyer at the Bar of Lyon (France) since 2021

Giorgio joined Giambrone in 2012, initially working from the Tunisian office, which he set up in 2017 where Giorgio successfully strengthened his knowledge of International and Tunisian law. He subsequently provided an invaluable contribution to the setting of the Sardinian office as well as setting up a French desk for Italy in 2019. In 2021 Giorgio made a significant contribution to the opening of Giambrone & Partners France, with its first office in Lyon.

Giorgio was shortlisted in 2016 by the prestigious legal magazine Top Legal for the award best Italian young lawyer of the year. Giorgio's expertise and his ongoing work as resident partner in Sardinia assisted in the success in Giambrone winning the coveted Top Legal award as Best law Firm of Italy - Islands.

Giorgio taught law as an expert in immigration law and intercultural mediator in 2017. Giorgio is frequently invited as an expert speaker relating to international law at a variety of conferences, seminars and other events. His main areas of expertise revolve around International and cross-border civil and commercial law, international contracts, real estate, French Law, Tunisian and Islamic Law. He also provides specialised legal expertise with respect to debt collection, corporate, arbitration, probate and family law.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.