Differences between exclusive rights over the apartments and rights over buildings

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Please, explain briefly but as clearly as possible the scope of the rights relating (exclusively) to the apartments and the ones relating to the building or to the communal elements owned jointly.

The ownership right on a flat inside a condominium is full and exclusive. In spite of this, according to art. 1122 of the Civil Code, in his  real estate unit… the co-owner can’t do works that damage common parts or cause prejudice to the stability, safety or garnish of the building. Anyway the Administrator has to be previously informed in order to report to the Assembly.

The common parts (listed in the article 1117 Civil Code) are subject to a special co-ownership regime, different from the normal one. More in details, the rules provided by art. 1117 – 1139 Civil Code apply to the building, where several floors or part of floors are exclusively owned by different persons and some assets, plants and services with a common use are linked to residential units through an instrumental relationship.

These assets are subject to a forced co-ownership, as the single co-owners can’t avoid to contribute to expenses for their maintenance, even if renouncing to the right on common parts.  The strictness of that principle was recently mitigated by the above mentioned amending law that, following several judicial decisions and modifying the previous article 1118 civil code, rules the participants’ rights on the common parts.

More in details, it provides the possibility for the co-owner to renounce to use the common parts, such as the heating and conditioning plant, if his renounce doesn’t cause relevant defects in functioning or increases the other co-owners’ expenses.