Planning/urbanisation/building consent

1.    Explain briefly what official permissions are needed in relation to buildings, and what authority grants them.

Generally speaking, the competence in the field of urban planning is up to municipalities. They issue building permissions and the certifications required by law, such as the energy certificate provided by D.Lgs 19 August 2005, n.192, carrying out the European directive 2002/91/CE, in order to align Italian legislation to the European one in the field of energy efficiency and reduction of consumption.

When there is the obligation to provide an energy certificate, the seller has to give this certificate to the buyer and it is necessary to include in the transfer deed a special clause through which the buyer has to declare to have received information and documentation concerning the building energy certification. So, the obligation to provide the building with such a certificate has to be fulfilled before signing the deed. The parties are not allowed to deviate from the legislation concerning energy certification through special agreements.

2.    Are buildings of a certain age exempt from any of these requirements?

In case of buildings that were erected or renovated before 8 October 2005, there is a simplified procedure, consisting in a self-declaration of the selling owner.

Moreover, it is not necessary to include in the deed of sale data concerning the building license, when the seller declares in the deed that the building was erected before 1967.

3.    Is official permission needed for the use to which land or buildings are put?

Le norme di pianificazione urbanistica stabiliscono quali siano I requisiti e le condizioni per un determinato uso dell’immobile. Il catasto fornisce invece le informazioni, per fini fiscali, relative all’uso attuale dell’immobile, ma non è certo che questo corrisponda all’uso effettivo.

Urban planning rules provide what are the requisites and conditions for a specific use of the property. The cadastre provides, for fiscal purposes, information concerning the current use of the property, but it is not sure that this corresponds to the real use.

4.    How does one discover whether the necessary permissions exist? Is it recorded in the land register, cadastre or some other register?

There is no official register where one can check if these permissions exist. Usually the notary charged with drawing up the deed collects information concerning the building, permissions and certificates required by law. But the buyer could contract an obligation to buy even before signing the notarial deed, through a preliminary agreement, binding for both the parties. In this case it is appropriate and advisable for the buyer to get all the necessary information from the promisor seller.

5.    Are additional permissions needed in particular geographical areas? How does one discover whether a property is in such an area? Is it recorded in the land register, cadastre or some other register?

6.    Are there additional requirements for permission to alter or demolish certain buildings because of their age or architectural or historic value? How does one discover that such additional requirements exist? Is it recorded in the land register, cadastre or some other register?

This theme was recently ruled by the consolidated act concerning cultural and environmental assets approved through D.Lgs 29 October 1999, n. 490, that cancelled all the previous thematic legislation. Generally speaking, information concerning environmental or architectural constraints related to a building is maintained by municipalities.

Possible charges due to architectural or historic value of the building could be found in the land register only if the transcription was required by the competent public authorities.

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