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Renting long term Sicily a bit hopeless?

Renting long term Sicily a bit hopeless?

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Old Mar 18th 2017, 7:22 am
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Default Renting long term Sicily a bit hopeless?

Hi everyone. I'm sure everyone here has heard the same old questions a million times over, but I just can't find any serious looking rental agencies that rent out long term accomodation? All I can find are short term holiday rentals that I don't even know if they're trustworthy? Just out of interest, I took a look a Riga and was immediately deluged with serious agencies offering serious contracts - but how does one go about finding serious long term lettings in Sicily? Any help would be really appreciated.
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Old Mar 18th 2017, 8:42 am
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Default Re: Renting long term Sicily a bit hopeless?

Have a look at the 2nd post here from Modicasa, if you have not already done so.
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Old Mar 18th 2017, 9:01 am
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Default Re: Renting long term Sicily a bit hopeless?

Thanks a lot. I've had a look at that thread, but things do look messy...it seems as if it really is quite tricky finding a long term rental and that the trick is to start off with a short term rental and go searching youself. At least, in comparison to f.ex. Riga, where it seems I can basically say, yes, I like that one, send over the contract, in reply to the dozens of flats I've been sent by officcial real estate agents. I think I have two concerns: 1) all of the short term rentals I find don't give the impression of being particularly reliable - I've checked out several and have received requests for me to send over a bunch of money to a private individual without any further inquiries or discussions, and 2) I have a cat and its not fair to uproot her all the time.
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Old Mar 18th 2017, 10:23 am
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Default Re: Renting long term Sicily a bit hopeless?

It depends where in Sicily you want to be. Not many agents do rentals in Sicily - for the simple fact that the earnings are negligible but the time required is great. Also, it has to be said, a Sicilian will do everything possible to avoid an agency to save a few bob. There is also the problem that a great many landlords will still prefer not to register a contract because they want the money in hand wiithout the taxman knowing.
Havin said that it is possible. Your problems are: how long? If you are in a tourist hotspot the landlord can earn the same money in July and August that you would pay for a year. Will you want to take residence at the address? A transitory contract does not necessarily allow you to do this. Most people find rentals when they are here, one of the reasons being that most dont stay on the market long. And its mainly word of mouth. If you are thinking of say Siracusa - you have to find somewhere in June/July when the students leave - in September its pointless looking because the returning students have taken all the places. And finally - you have a cat, which will not be acceptable to some landlords. So how long do you want your contract for, what do you want, where and how much do you want to pay. Then at least you'll know whether its feasible.
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Old Mar 18th 2017, 10:33 am
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Default Re: Renting long term Sicily a bit hopeless?

Thanks so much for your reply. It feels like you're helping me gain a bit more understanding of how to go about this. I was worried about the fact that every flat says "no contract", which sounds a bit iffy but perhaps not that iffy if it's common practice. My requirements are probably not too demanding. First of all June/July would suit me perfectly. If I could find a place for 1 year, I feel that would give me and the cat plenty of time to start looking at other stuff. I'm not too fussy about location initially as long as its reasonably close to a town and some modernities because I am completely dependent on the Internet for work (I work as a translator and conduct all my work over the Internet and thus can live and work pretty much anywhere). So what I'm looking for really is just something decent and cheap enough for a year while I get my bearings and that is not a million miles from either the sea or a town and has decent Internet access. So far, I've been thinking that somewhere around Cantania is probably a good place to start? I was offered a very nice place slap bang in the middle of Taormina through a friend, but firstly it was pretty expensive and secondly, beautiful as Taormina is, I don't really want to live in the middle of the happening scene. I'm looking for peace and quiet without going completely off grid.

Last edited by Matt12345; Mar 18th 2017 at 10:37 am.
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Old Mar 19th 2017, 6:32 am
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Default Re: Renting long term Sicily a bit hopeless?

It is illegal to not have a contract if you in a property over 30 days. If you are in Italy for more than 90 days you must take residence which requires an address/copy of a registered contract. On the other hand, Brits are regarded as the holy grail of renters as they pay on time. The no contract signs are around because it is very difficult to kick out renters, and if they bring in yong/old people its virtually impossible, so its a way of screening applicants. If you arrive in June/July you will have to look inland - nobody will let to you for a year at the beginning of the beach season. Siracusa has no beach, so its a possibility.
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Old Mar 19th 2017, 9:54 am
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Default Re: Renting long term Sicily a bit hopeless?

Thanks a lot for all the info, you've been a great help
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Old Mar 20th 2017, 8:47 am
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Default Re: Renting long term Sicily a bit hopeless?

Hi Matt
Just add my own practical experience. People are leaving Sicily en masse with unemployment over 50% so there is a large glut of residential property and you will have absolutely no difficulty in finding a decent long term rental even if this takes a bit of time. Have a look at immobiliare.it for instance. There are a very few tourist hotspots where people prefer to rent out furnished flats for the short-term but even this is changing, as the tourist season is getting shorter and Italians take much shorter holidays. There are many reasons why it is best (obligatory) to come for a short stay and look around including the following. There are a few no-go (Gomorra) areas even in Sicily which is generally a very peaceful place, even in Siracusa for instance. You can't see this on an advert of an apparently attractive flat overlooking the sea and no-one will tell you until you move in. Also there are lots of exceptionally noisy places right next to main roads or nightclubs. Italians are generally far more resistant to noise than English people and nightlife here lasts all night especially in the summer. Flats are built in a completely anarchic way so you may find yourself looking into someone else's living room. Also long-term rents are very often completely unfurnished and you must have a good look round before signing to see exactly how unfurnished the one you like is - no kitchen, no sink, no heating or air-conditioning, no decent electric plugs even if they are apparently present in the advert. Once you are here though you can check things out carefully before signing and I can assure you there are plenty of really nice places to rent at really low rents (500 Euros/month) and there are also some honest and helpful estate agents and decent landlords.
I see you are a freelancer so don't rush into residency until you realize what that means. Italy is probably the worse country in the world for freelancing with exorbitant obligatory social charges and taxes etc. Whatever people say you don't have to become a resident immediately in particular in Sicily
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Old Mar 20th 2017, 10:52 am
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Default Re: Renting long term Sicily a bit hopeless?

How much per month are you prepared to pay?
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Old Mar 19th 2018, 2:25 pm
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Default Re: Renting long term Sicily a bit hopeless?

Damn! I was just going to reply! I am interested!
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Old Mar 20th 2018, 8:59 am
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Default Re: Renting long term Sicily a bit hopeless?

One other consideration which you may have assumed is the availability of decent internet connectivity, or not. Speaking as a north Italian resident, internet services are patchy even in this relatively commercially active region. Having a telephone line (which is necessary for many internet providers) is not guaranteed and Telecom Italia may decline to provide a line, as we found out with our new build even though it's in a village with scores of existing users all around us. A few businesses in nearby valleys have had to connect to the internet by a chiavetta (dongle) plugged into their PCs/laptops. Fortunately Eolo provide a reasonably fast service from a network of masts to which we connect by a small satellite dish. I don't know what internet providers you will find locally - apart from the usual national providers TIM, Wind, Tre, Vodafone, Fastweb etc. which normally piggy-back on a fixed telephone line - but there will be others on this forum that should have experience.
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Old Mar 20th 2018, 12:01 pm
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Default Re: Renting long term Sicily a bit hopeless?

Originally Posted by Plan B View Post
One other consideration which you may have assumed is the availability of decent internet connectivity, or not. Speaking as a north Italian resident, internet services are patchy even in this relatively commercially active region. Having a telephone line (which is necessary for many internet providers) is not guaranteed and Telecom Italia may decline to provide a line, as we found out with our new build even though it's in a village with scores of existing users all around us. A few businesses in nearby valleys have had to connect to the internet by a chiavetta (dongle) plugged into their PCs/laptops. Fortunately Eolo provide a reasonably fast service from a network of masts to which we connect by a small satellite dish. I don't know what internet providers you will find locally - apart from the usual national providers TIM, Wind, Tre, Vodafone, Fastweb etc. which normally piggy-back on a fixed telephone line - but there will be others on this forum that should have experience.
Yeah down here so long as you are near a telephone line you will be fine. Speeds vary town to town however, I have 100mb right next to the motorway on the north coast. Central Palermo and Catania you can expect 1GB but if you go more central of the island you will be lucky to find over 10mb but it is improving. My advice will always be stick to a town on the outskirts of Palermo or Catania.

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