Cadastral and Zoning Compliance in Italy

Italian Property: The importance of cadastral (land registry) and zoning compliance

We often meet people who find themselves in trouble because they didn’t seek legal advice about cadastral and zoning compliance when they bought their Italian property.

It is not uncommon to discover – some time after buying an Italian property, that the property is wholly or partially illegally.

2017 report by the Office for Italian Statistics (ISTAT), estimates that nationally, some 20% of Italian properties are illegal builds – more in the south of the country.
On top of this, many legally built properties in Italy harbour significant liabilities that are not compliant with the law. Even slight discrepancies in plans, such as distribution of internal spaces can expose you to civil or criminal repercussions.

The minimum penalty for the seemingly most trivial of matters is at least Euro 1,000. This financial penalty is over and above professional costs to remedy the discrepancy.

Cadastral and zoning discrepancies  impact the future marketability of your Italian property

When you purchase an Italian property, due diligence checks regarding Cadastral and Zoning compliance are of the utmost importance. Ensuring your property complies with the law will save you time, money and stress in the long run.

Making sure your Italian property complies with the law isn’t just applicable to sales and purchases. It is also relevant for other cases such as, obtaining a mortgage, planning renovations, accessing tax benefits and subsidies and organising inheritance and asset division.

Cadastral compliance (legittimità catastale)

This term refers to the compliance between a property’s current condition and its registration in the Italian Cadastre. As such, it does not have a zoning relevance.

Italian tax authorities manage cadastral services. Entries in the Cadastre neither prove ownership nor property compliance with zoning legislation.

Zoning compliance (legittimità urbanistica)

Since July 2010 a deeds of sale must prove that a property complies with zoning and cadastral legislation. It is therefore compulsory to list in the deed of sale the various building permits used in order to build, extend or renovate a property.

For properties built prior to 1st September, 1967, exemptions may apply to omitting the property’s zoning history. After this date however, the deed of sale must list any renovation work.

Finally …

At De Tullio Law Firm we are specialists in Italian property and inheritance matters. Before signing any property-related paperwork, please get in touch with us. We are here to help.

 

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COVID Pandemic: What’s The Impact on The Italian Property Market?

COVID pandemic impact on the Italian property market

If you own property in Italy or you are planning to buy one, you may be wondering how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the real estate market in Italy.

Unfortunately, many people have lost their jobs or have had to halt professional activities during the pandemic. You might think that this will force property prices down so it would be a good time to invest in real estate in Italy.

Is that true?

Will the COVID pandemic negatively impact the Italian real estate market?

This is not an easy question to answer. Because Italian real estate agencies have only recently restarted their activities, it is too early to evaluate price fluctuations.

Generally speaking, no matter the cause of a crisis, properties sell at lower prices if owners need cash in the short term. However, if owners don’t need of cash, it is unlikely that they will sell at lower prices to achieve a quick sale.

How will COVID effect Italian house prices?

In order to understand the impact of COVID on Italian house prices, there is an important cultural aspect to consider. For Italians, investing in the property market and has always been seen as a secure investment. In any period of crisis, property safe havens become even more relevant.

In light of the above, it is hard to say how the pandemic will actually impact Italian property prices. It is difficult to predict whether property prices in Italy will drop or remain substantially the same.

What about pre-pandemic property contracts?

The scenario might be slightly different for property purchase negotiations started prior to the pandemic.

If you signed a contract to purchase an Italian property but the pandemic caused a delay in completion, it is unlikely that your situation has changed. Once it is possible, your transaction will complete according to the terms and conditions of your contract.

In other cases, you may be able to claim a force majeure applies due to the pandemic. It depends on the specific circumstances. For example, the exact fulfilment of the contract, payment timing, breach of contract claims, etc.

Finally …

If you would like more information about how to price an offer for an Italian property or, if you need advice on the impact of the pandemic on a property contract, please get in touch.

You may also like to read about force majeure clauses in property contracts. We also have a number of info videos about buying property in Italy that you might find useful.