The last thing in Italy that you want is dilapidations! The judicial system moves at a glacial pace and it is normal for lawsuits to be settled after many, many years. Given this state of affairs, it behooves everyone to stay clear of a legal route and to aim for a hassle-free departure. How do you achieve this? Well, follow me as we look at some vital points.
For a successful departure, we need to go back to the beginning. I see a check in a little bit like being a CSI – you need to gather evidence that will support your case later. What does this mean? Simply put – you must have a very detailed inventory form that is in English and Italian to avoid anyone saying they signed something they did not understand! You need to take photos, photos, and more photos– you can never have enough photos that document the state of the property when someone moves in. If the inventory form is flimsy and the photos taken can be counted on one hand – prepare for heartache!
Keep The Same Players
In Italy, the relationships you have with vendors, owners, realtors, etc. are vital to a successful departure. Therefore, as much as possible, it is highly advisable to use the same DSP (Destination Service Provider) who did the check in – at Principal Relocation, very often, dilapidations have been successful negotiated due to the great relationships we’ve built with homeowners and realtors throughout the years. In a country like Italy, knowing the right people and getting along with them will take you very far!
Trust Your Instincts
I have taught my team that when you feel something could go wrong with the checkout always carry out a pre-check out. Even if we bear the cost of this – it will often turn out to be the most valuable decision we have made. If your instincts tell you that there could be a lot of dilapidations – carry out a pre-check out at least one month in advance. This will give the assignee / client company time to rectify any damages that could interfere with the return of the deposit. Before each check in, we have our clients sign two forms that clearly explain wear and tear and what are their responsibilities as tenants – if followed to the letter, dilapidations or other claims for damage or lost items are almost non-existent or contained. Nobody wants to deal with huge dilapidations in Italy as they can go on for years!
The Day of Reckoning
The checkout needs to be carried out with the same laser precision that the check in was carried out with. Again, you need a very detailed checkout inventory form and tons of photos to prove the state of the property when the tenant checks out. Once more, a slim inventory form and a few photos will very often come back to bite you. In Italy, property owners do not always stick to what was agreed and signed off on at the checkout and will come back later with a list of things for which they want further compensation. If your form was inadequate, or only in English, and the photos are few and far between, quite frankly you won’t have a leg to stand on and you might as well start writing the check! Another important point to keep in mind when departing from Italy is that all the relevant parties must be present at the checkout. Therefore, if the assignee cannot be present, someone from the client company must be there to sign on their behalf – likewise if the landlord cannot be present, someone who has a power of attorney from the property owner must be present to sign off on the checkout in their absence.
Don’t Let Low-Cost become High-Cost
A cheap or “light” departure program may end up costing you dearly. In a country like Italy where legal battles can continue for decades, make sure that your checkouts are topnotch and don’t leave you open to being sued. While it’s tempting to cut costs on certain services, dilapidations may end up being a lot more expensive and can become a headache that just won’t abate.