10 years - 20 years

Usucapio is the acquisition of original title by a person who has possession of a certain kind, for a certain period, of the property. This is a way to acquire a property to which you not have title. In principle, usucaption occurs "by virtue of continuous possession for twenty years" (as article 1158 of the Italian Civil Code). The possession must not have been obtained violently, or clandestinely (article 1163 of the Italian Civil Code).

Thanks to the provisions of article 1159 of the Italian Civil Code, it is possible to shorten the period of time required for usucaption, to ten years for real estate if you bought real estate from a seller who wasn't the real owner, but you have bought in good faith. Then you can become the real owner if 10 years have passed after your contract was registered. For this to occur, the purchaser without title must have been in good faith at the time the agreement for the purchase was entered into, that is to say, that he was unaware that he was harming the other right, that the contract was at least in theory capable of transferring title, that it has been duly registered.

The notary handling the sale should make checks at the Land Registry to establish the existence of the right that the seller claims and previous title-owners, going backward in time to examine a prior period of sufficient length for acquisition by usucaption, which normally requires twenty years of uninterrupted possession of the asset.

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