- Posted by Lara Dentici
I own a property in a Condo in Italy: if my neighbour has made changes to a common part, is there an applicable time bar for me to resort to the Court?
All Italian condominiums give rise to a great number of issues that need to be dealt with. If you are a condo owner, you may find you have adjoining walls with neighbours, as well as other parts described as common parts, which are jointly owned and shared by all the condo owners.
It is always safer to check and study all the Condo rules and the civil law requirements before undertaking any work on your property if it might, even accidentally, affect the common parts. These sets of rules are a list of the conditions and restrictions that you must face when becoming an owner of a Condo in Italy, so it is essential for someone to check the “can and cannot do” list. In fact, in cases of failure to comply with the set conditions, one could easily end up being fined, obliged to comply or even sued.
We all know how complicated it is to share common parts and in condominiums the scenario may be even more tortuous if one of the involved parties is used to foreign rules and is unaccustomed to Italian Condo laws and regulations.
All condo owners in Italy tend to feel that they have the right to embark on any changes in their own flat without necessarily asking for prior consent from the other condo owners, even when their refurbishment works might affect common parts of the building. This, unfortunately, is not an uncommon scenario, in fact, case law is very copious on the matter.
Italian Civil law and the Condo rules in Italy regulate these aspects and are very specific; they establish many tight time bars to avoid endless Court cases that create further backlogs on the many matters already needing to be dealt with.
It should be borne in mind that in the event that an apartment flat owner has undertaken works thought to have caused damage to common shared parts, or in the event the work carried out was only on common parts without having gained the required prior consent of other owners, any condo owner can ask the Judge to order that the damage be restored and said action is not subject to any prescription term: this has been decided by the Supreme Court “Cassazione”, in order 06/02/2018, no. 14622.
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