Disdetta or no disdetta

After reviewing the contratto (contract) that I signed last year for my existing apartment, I have come to realize that no disdetta (notice to leave) was specified. Which means, that I'm supposed to pay rent until the end of November no matter what. On Monday, the proprietari (owners) of the apartment asked me for a disdetta of three months, which I sent to them.

But on Friday, they responded that if they don't find a new inquilino (renter), they will not let me out of my contratto.

For the entire week, the thought of my having to pay such a high rent alone sent me into a tailspin. I talked to the agente immobiliare (real estate agent) who represented me and she didn't notice that there was no disdetta. The agenzia immobiliare (real estate agency) who wrote the contratto assured me that the three-month disdetta was written on the contratto, which it was not.

Many people read through the contratto before I signed it, and they all failed to mention that there would be no getting out of my contract. I read the contract and when I got to the part that mentioned I had a one week notice to give them before leaving the apartment, I believed was the disdetta. When I questioned the proprietari, they assured me that a week was plenty of time to rent the apartment out. I told them for sure that I would give them a month or more if possible. What I misunderstood was a paragraph above the one week notice that said that for one entire year, I cannot get out of the contract and must stay until November 30.

My friend Adriana, who is also an agente immobiliare, told me that it was very improper of the two agenti immobiliari and the proprietari to not make sure I understood all the details of the contratto. She said that it is so unusual to not have a disdetta that they could've made an effort to tell me.

I met with the new proprietaria of the other apartment at Chalet Fontana near Piazzale Michelangelo on Wednesday. She was very sweet and understanding and even said that she will allow me to move in whenever I want after the 15th of July. She is even willing to wait for me if I'm unable to not leave my apartment before August 15th. I was very surprised that she'd rather skip one month of rent instead of finding someone else to rent her apartment to.

To make things as clear as possible with the proprietari, a friend of mine suggested that I write them an email stating that I am unable to pay rent beyond August 15th. Everyone tells me that they can't do anything to me legally for not abiding the terms of the contratto, but being from a country where someone can file a lawsuit against you so easily, I still have some fear. At any rate, my conscience is clear: I will move out by the 15th of August and pay my rent up to that date.

Initially, I felt a little guilty about sending such an email, but my friends all told me that it's unfair of them to tell me one day that they'll accept my three month disdetta and then turn around and tell me that it now depends on if they find a new inquilino or not.

I'm certain that it will all work out for all of us, but in the mean time I'm still a little worried. They can't do anything to me at this point because I pay the rent on time, take care of the apartment, and have been nothing but cordial and friendly with them. But, we'll see how it all turns out in August. My fingers are crossed again for them to find a new inquilino.

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