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 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.
A 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.
Planning 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.
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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