Italian Property: The Importance of Cadastral (Italian Land Registry) and Zoning Compliance

In Italy, a great deal of the national building stock is either completely or partially unlawful. Even slight discrepancies in plans, such as distribution of internal spaces can expose you to civil, criminal and economic repercussions. The minimum penalty for the seemingly most trivial of matters is at least Euro 1,000, over and above professional costs to remedy the discrepancy.

Above all, discrepancies will impact the future marketability of your Italian property.

The Importance of Cadastral and Zoning Compliance Detailed due diligence checks regarding Cadastral (Land Registry) and Zoning compliance is of the utmost importance. Ensuring your property complies with the law will save you time, money and stress in the long run. Not just for sales and purchase of an Italian property, but also in other cases including, but not limited to:

  • hereditary successions
  • asset divisions
  • obtaining a mortgage
  • refurbishments and renovations
  • access to tax benefits and subsidies

Cadastral Compliance (legittimità catastale)

This term refers to the compliance between a property’s current condition and its registration in the Italian Cadastre.

The Cadastre is controlled by the Italian Inland Revenue and fulfils a fiscal role. As such it does not have a zoning relevance.

Entries in the Cadastre neither prove ownership nor property compliance with zoning legislation.

Surprisingly there are many property entries in Cadastre which are illegal from a zoning point of view.

Zoning Compliance (legittimità urbanistica)

This term refers to the compliance between the property’s current condition and the various issued planning permissions.

It is crucial to verify this element before purchasing or selling an Italian property or if you are considering renovation work on a property.

Checking compliance to zoning legislation can highlight the presence of possible illegal works which could jeopardise legally marketing the property or it may generate legal disputes during the conveyancing process.

Zoning and Cadastral Compliance in Notarial Deeds of Sale

Since July 2010 it has been compulsory to prove in notarial deeds of sale, when transferring ownership of real estate, that the property’s compliance to zoning and cadastral legislation is legally compliant.

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.

If the property was built before 1st of September 1967, exemptions may apply to omitting the property’s zoning history. There is however an obligation to list any renovation work executed after such date.

De Tullio Law Firm is an independent law firm. We are specialised in Italian property and inheritance matters. Before signing any property-related paperwork, please get in touch with us.

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