Property Restoration Rules

Clients often ask me about the rules regarding property restoration, citing that there’s so much conflicting information in the public domain. Often they’ll turn to people on forums who moved to Abruzzo many years ago and although well-meaning; things change and these people may not have the up to date information.

One important thing to say is that the law changed back in April, (22nd to be exact), meaning it’s no longer necessary to obtain permission as long as the restoration you do to your property has no impact on the environment. For example building extensions or another storey will have an impact on the surroundings and will therefore require permission. 

house in abruzzo for sale024

Below are the main works as listed in the ‘Infrastructure decree’ which you do not need to seek permission from the comune before undertaking:

Ordinary maintenance works:
• Installing, but also repairing or replacing, railing, security grilles or grates.
• Replacing external and internal flooring,
• Resurfacing internal and external plasterwork,
• Renovating gutters and downpipes.
• Changing doors, windows, stairways
• Installing an air-to-air heat pump, provided that it has a heat output of less than 12 kW. These appliances offer also a “green” alternative for air-conditioning houses as they use renewable energy such as air to heat or cool rooms.
• Installing (but also repairing or upgrading) lifts, but only inside buildings and provided that this doesn’t involve altering supporting structures.

House for sale in abruzzo013

Works to create a comfortable living space outside your door:
• Installing barbecues, tool sheds, fountains, planters and benches, kennels for dogs and cats.
• Installing gazebos and pergolas within certain size limits and when not permanently fixed to the ground
• Create a garden play area for children
• Installing partition walls in the garden as long as they are not masonry walls

Home renewable energy systems:
• Installing, replacing or renovating solar and photovoltaic panels, wind turbines generators or parts of them

Architectonic barriers:
You can remove architectonic barriers, such as stairways and lifts, if they don’t alter the existing structure of the property.

Paglieta house for sale in Abruzzo, Italy (16)

The only other advice I’d add is, if you’re unsure then ask. A trip to the comune only takes a short time and could put your mind at rest. Also feel free to copy and print out the above infrastructure decree to take with you just in case the person behind the desk has not been aware of the changes.

Buon lavoro.

Making Good

Today we are having our electrics checked by Aldo, a local electrician. We don’t have a problem with them, but since parting company with our previous builder we think it prudent to do this as we’ve since been told he’s not authorised to fit electric.

Aldo looks more like a Calabrian than an Abruzzese, he’s about 5 feet and a fag end and has a voice that sounds like he’s been breathing in helium. He’s a sort of miniature, Italian Joe Pasquale. He sets too unscrewing the plugs and immediately discovers exposed wiring, he points this out whilst asking why the cable from the meter isn’t in any conduit. I explain that towards the end of his employ our previous builder became very lazy and the quality of his work suffered too. Aldo secures the cable to the meter then discovers that one of the kitchen plugs is broken despite it still being fitted, making it unsafe.

We have a moment where he tries all the main switches and as he can still hear music he can’t understand why there’s still electricity running through cables, he scratches his head and I smile as I tell him that the iPod dock is charged up and not plugged into the supply. I ask him if he can fit me a plug downstairs and also if it’s possible to have smaller centre light fittings so that my lampshades I brought from England can be fitted. He rummages in his tool box and the iPod shuffles and Love Story by the Au Pairs begins to play as he disappears down the stairs.

Twenty minutes later my lampshades have been fitted and he’s sweeping up the plaster where a new double plug has been fitted. As he drives away I make a mental note to contact our geometra who okayed the original electrical work and tell him I’ll be talking to my lawyer.100_7418