Certificate of occupancy in old properties: what to do when it is missing

THE usability certificate This is a document which certifies compliance with the hygiene, safety and health conditions of a specific building with regard to the legislation in force. Given its importance, it is mandatory in the vast majority of real estate transactions, although there are special cases. Among these, there are properties built before 1934 for which it is not obligatory, unless they have undergone significant renovations or modifications after 2003. In any case, during negotiations and sales deeds property, it may be necessary to fully protect both parties. .

What is the certificate of occupancy?

THE usability certificate it is an official document which certifies the existence of the safety, hygiene, healthiness and energy saving conditions of a building and the systems installed there: it therefore certifies that the building is suitable for be inhabited or used.

The certificate of occupancy is not necessary in certain cases, including in buildings constructed before 1934, since the legislation was only introduced with Royal Decree no. 1265/1934. However, if the building underwent renovations or structural changes after 2003, it may be necessary to apply for a new certificate of occupancy.

To better understand which buildings are included and which are not, it is worth briefly reviewing the history of this document:

  • 1934: the certificate of habitability is introduced for the first time with Royal Decree no. 1265/1934.
  • 1967: law n. 765, known as the “Bridge Law”, introduces the distinction between “habitability” for residential properties and “user-friendliness” for other properties.
  • 1990: the obligation to file the declaration of conformity of systems is introduced;
  • 1994: the obligation is also introduced for new construction or major renovations.

Legislative Decree 222/2016 (known as SCIA Decree 2) amended art. 24 of Presidential Decree 380/2001 (Consolidated Construction Law) and replaced the old usability certificate with the certified usability report.

When is the certificate of occupancy not necessary?

THE usability certificate this is not necessary in several situations, notably in buildings built before 1934 when the regulations were not yet planned. Likewise, ordinary maintenance interventions – that is to say which do not modify the structure or the intended use or systems of the building (painting of walls, replacement of fixtures or floors, repair of existing systems) – also require this documentation.

Likewise, light renovation interventions, which therefore do not involve any expansion of the building, do not require this documentation either. This category includes, for example, the removal of interior partitions, the modification of existing systems, the creation of interior works that do not modify the shape of the building.

Additionally, even small properties, such as garages or sheds, may not require a certificate of occupancy. At the same time also rural buildings used for agricultural purposes they cannot be subject to the occupancy certificate requirement.

When is it mandatory?

The usability certificate is required for different types of building interventions, including:

  • new buildings: in this case it is essential to obtain connection to water, electricity and gas services because it certifies that the building has been built in accordance with current regulations and that it is safe and habitable;
  • reconstructions Or total or partial elevations: the document can be requested if interior work is carried out modifying the shape of the building, it is necessary to request a new usability certificate.
  • interventions on existing buildings, whether it involves restructuring or modifying systems.

Usability can be certified for the entire property, for individual buildings or parts, or for individual real estate units, depending on the intervention and authorizations.

Remember that the need for a usability certificate for old buildings intended to be renovated is an issue that requires paying attention to the historical and regulatory details of the building concerned: for buildings older than 1934, the certificate is not obligatory unless they have undergone significant modifications. modified after 2003. In this case, you must obtain the certified at the end of the work. If a property requires the certificate, but does not have one, it is possible to submit the request by completing the necessary documentation.

What does the absence of an occupancy certificate mean?

From a technical-legal point of view, the absence of an occupancy certificate, even in old buildings, indicates that the property has not passed the necessary controls to verify compliance with current construction and safety standards. , implying that the building may not be safe for domestic or intended use.

Legally, occupants of a property without a certificate of occupancy may face difficulties connecting to essential services, such as electricity, water and gas, since supplies can only be legally activated if the building is recognized as accessible. Furthermore, the absence of such a certificate may hinder the sale or transfer of ownership of the propertysince notarial deeds often require the presentation of the occupancy certificate to validate the transaction.

Finally, from an administrative point of view, owners who do not have an occupancy certificate may be subject to financial sanctions and obliged to carry out the necessary work to adapt the property to current regulations. In extreme cases, the absence of a certificate may lead to the property being ordered to vacate until the adaptation work is carried out and the relevant certificate is obtained.

Conviviality is mandatory for the act

In Italian legislation, friendliness is an element of fundamental importance in the real estate sales process and also plays an important role in notarial deed. The usability certificate certifies that a property complies with current building and planning regulations, ensuring that structures are safe and suitable for their intended use.

For the stipulation of an act, the presentation of the habitability certificate it is not always required by law, however, its absence may affect the value of the property and the validity of the deed of sale. In many cases, the notary requests the certificate of occupancy to confirm the legality of the property and protect the parties involved in the transfer of ownership.

Without the certificate of occupancy, the buyer may face significant risks, such as difficulty obtaining a mortgage or financing, as well as possible fines or additional fees to bring the property into compliance with regulations in force. effective after purchase.

What to do if the occupancy certificate is missing?

In absence of certificate of aptitude, it is necessary to undertake a series of specific steps to regularize the situation of the property and obtain the necessary certification. Here are the main actions to take:

  • verification of non-conformities: as a first step, it is essential to check any non-compliance of the property with current construction and town planning regulations, such as building violations. This includes reviewing building permits, structural designs and technological systems;
  • Technical advice: it is advisable to seek the advice of a qualified technician – such as an architect, engineer or surveyor – who can carry out an inspection to assess the condition of the property and identify any modifications necessary to comply with the requirements legal;
  • execution of work to adapt the property to regulations: if discrepancies emerge from the inspection, adjustment work will have to be carried out. These may include structural changes, improvements to security regulations or upgrades to technical systems;
  • production of Documentation At the end of the work, it is now possible to collect all the documentation certifying the modifications made and the conformity of the property with the regulations. This includes technical reports, photographs and factory certifications.

At this point, with all the necessary documentation, the qualified technician can proceed to carry out and submit the practice for the certificate of usability to the municipality in which the property is located: this practice includes a declaration of conformity of the property to the laws in force.

THE Common, after receipt of the file, will carry out the necessary checks, which may include an inspection, to verify the veracity of the information provided and the conformity of the property. If all conditions are met, the Municipality will issue the usability certificate, officially validating the habitability and security of the property.

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