- Posted by Massimo Mellaro
How easy is it to start any refurbishment work on your Italian property?
Even Italians, who are accustomed to the country’s complicated bureaucratic scenario, find it quite a struggle to comply with the necessary paper work and legal norms when deciding to partially or completely renovate their property.
So as to properly process your refurbishment work, you will have to appoint an Italian geometra, who is a combination of an engineer, architect and surveyor. Your geometra will draw up the plans, deal with all the planning applications paperwork and check the refurbishment process. Even in cases in which one is planning to undertake only a small amount of work, it is safer and wiser to appoint a geometra and make sure the proposed refurbishments are permitted and that one has the correct building permits. Italian law is very strict, so planning permissions, notification of neighbours and notification off third parties, as well as approval from the local public authorities, may seem minor aspects to comply with, but they are actually essential to avoid future problems. In some cases, under specific circumstances it is possible to gain retrospective planning permits, but this is not always so, and in some cases, the application might be rejected and the illegal work might constitute an offence, ending in property seizure by the Italian State which will certainly lead to a very time-consuming and costly process to get your property back, if possible.
In fact, even building a loft, which may seem a very quick and easy job, might require a special permit. Italian jurisprudence states, on this point, that every single case needs to be checked. A special permit will be required when the loft will dramatically change the property size increasing it, as set out in article 3, first point D.P.R. 6 June 2001 no. 380; although if creating the loft may be deemed merely a minor refurbishment, no permit will be required.
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