The Italian Law Journal | ItaLJ


Transfer of Ownership and Preliminary Agreements 

by Paolo Gallo 

This work aims to provide a contribution to the standardization of European law in the field of transfer of ownership. At first sight, the European scenario appears to present a very marked contrast between the French model of transfer of property based on the contract (titulus), and the German one, which is based on delivery (modus). Nevertheless, deeper analysis reveals that the differences are not as great as they seem. For instance, let us consider the Italian case, where, in spite of the fact that according to the principio consensualistico the transfer of property takes place at the very moment that agreement between the parties is reached, with the introduction of the preliminary contract, the transfer of ownership does not occur immediately, but only upon full payment of the agreed price. Under these circumstances, as far as immovables are concerned, the best solution from the European point of view seems to be to distinguish between the moment when the contract is signed and the moment in which the transfer of ownership takes place. Conversely, in the case of movable property, the need for rapid circulation of wealth makes the principio consensualistico approach more suitable. 

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