We have had a house just outside

rdcrozier Image
11/10/2016 - 11:57

We have had a house just outside Pescara in Abruzzo for the last 14 years. and a year ago last April the whole village (Vestea) suffered a huge landslip which effectively wrecked all 30+ residences. Our property was structurally unaffected but all the services (gas, water, electricity etc.) were disconnectad and have stayed that way for the near 2 years since. The whole area has been deemed a "red zone" and no building repair will be carried out as the land is still mmoving under the surface so repairs would be useless. We do not have residency.The residents have been moved out to other accomodation and nobody was injured which is great news but for the last 2 years we have been waiting to hear what compensation if any we would be getting. Suddenly 3 weeks ago we were told that we had to have a survey done on the house for valuation purposes which came out at 400,000 euros and the valuation along with plans were lodged with the commune. Then, 2 weeks ago we were informed that our compensation would be a maximum of 50% of the house valuation but, and here is the big but:We have to purchase a property in the same area or agree to build a new house in the same area by the end of October (a two week period to decide and submit plans) after the 2 years of non deliberation and action from the authorities.Evidently, not agreeing to either of the possible courses of action would mean that we would simply be ignored as far as compensatory amounts. There is another downside though, in that they have also stipulated that if we purchase a new property then the maximum compensation will be 50% of the new property or build NOT the 50% of our old property valuation so why bother with the valuation in the first place? Not commiting to buy or build a new property in this ludicrously small 2 week period would also invalidate any compensation claim and mean we walked away with nothing.So, after some deliberation, we went out to see the old propery a couple of weeks ago and it is a very sad state as is the whole village and fortunately have found a property we are prepared to buy in the same area (but we have asked why should we want too!!!) at a cost of 110K Euros so our compensation will be (if we get it) a figure of 55K and not the 200K we first thought.We have committed and given an intention to purchase the new property simply to keep the ball rolling so to speak as we cannot afford to walk away getting no compensation at all seeing as how we still have a UK mortgage outstanding (we mortgaged our UK house to generate the money to purchase the property originally).We feel this is a very unfair stance the local commune and government are taking and wonder if any of you people out there know of any good Italian lawyers who would be prepared to take on the case, not for us alone but for at least 4 families who find themselves are in the same circumstances. In the UK we could probably employ a "no win no fee" lawyer who potentially could make lots of money should the claims be successful but have struggled to find the same in Italy despite my other half being fluent in Italian.Also, has anyone any ideas regarding courses of action to take or things we could do as a group to push the claim through? Our friends in L'Aquilla (about 50 miles away as the crow flies) are only just being paid out after 7 years!!As a final insult, we have also been told that the old propery has to be pulled down and the rubble removed which we have costed out at around 35K and this will not be covered by the government.As you may appreciate, this is far from an ideal situation and we seem to just come up against stupidity, an inability to make sense and bureacracy all in one.Any help or possible contacts who could help appreciated.Dave & Paola.



Really sorry to hear of your horrendous problem.There is a guy on our local forum from Castiglione Messer Raimondo is/was the same predicament where he has lost his house. Sounded to me like they only give him a week to find a new house, compensation was 50% because he was none resident and it was limited to a max of €150,000. If you are looking at going down the legal route, Charlotte mentioned by Gala is very helpful, but you may wish to have someone more local. Cristina Mattei is an Italian American Avvocato working out of Pescara and has been praised by many English here locally, her contact details are here. Best of luck in getting thing sorted.