02/26/2012 - 10:01

The local comune recently started a purge on stranieri who had not got an 'agibilita' for their property. Large fines were being dished out so we started to get organised. First our geometra sent a technico round with a view to producing the right document with regard to energy etc. He took a pretty cursory look round and has not been heard of since. Then another technico was lined up - a friend as it happens - and he gave me sample docs to produce - just a weeks work with scale drawings and pipe layouts etc... windows detailed in size.. radiators detailed in size.Now the geometra says the original technico - when the house was restored 5 years ago - has to sign the docs.So, one asks, what if the original guy had died? Surely any qualified person can certify the work. We really have no idea what is really needed by the comune and were not sure the geometra does either.Does anyone know what the agibilita is really all about please?



Here is a load of stuff which you need for a certificate of abitabilita: it may not be comprehensive, but here goes. Thermal certificate by a geometra now including an estimate of the annual total energy requirement of the house. Will cost around €500 to prepare. Ceritificate of electrical system - free from the original electrician, difficulties and costs if he happens to have died. Certificate of plumbing system - free from original plumber, not as difficult as electrics if plumber has died. Approval of septic tank discharge if to land. (This is a very recent one, and may very between regions)  - geometra has to draw up what is existing and get apporoval from local water authority - €600 or so. Proof of water supply. Water bill is enough if mains water is connected, otherwise well water has to be tested at a cost of around €300. In addition I am told that a DURC is required (certificate from a builder showing he has paid all his taxes and NI payments). This is wonderfully tricky if the builder engaged many years ago has retired, because this DURC must be current, and DURCs only last a very short time (3 months, I think). Can normally be overcome by a builder who owes the geometra a favour obliging, but this may open up a can of worms for the future. The other major requirement is to ensure that the house exactly accords with the catastal drawings on record, both externally and internally. This might well knock you back another €6-700. I wouldn't be surprised if evidence that you have had your boiler serviced and tested regularly is also asked for, though so far no geometra has asked for this. As to the requirement that the original geometra has to sign stuff off, I'm not convinced this is the case - certainly not for the thermal certificate or for the drainage or water supply 'tests'. For the updating of the catastal details I can see a logic in the origiinal tecnico being involved, but I cannot believe that it is mandatory.

I think there has been conversations about this before a few years back ? I can imagine the rules changing and being tweaked over the years as new eco friendly legislation comes into being, but surely there should be a single entity responsible for carrying out all of the checks and certification? Who actually decides that the 10 year old certificate is still relevant, especially if the seller claims no changes have been made? I KNOW we are not in the UK, but in the main this sort of thing is carried out by Building Control and Planning Officers me thinks................I assume the local technico would be the equivalent here? I see newbies here renting and then buying property and I always say 'make sure that you get a certificate of agibilita'............some of the properties are so ramshackle you wonder where the certificates come from! A costly exercise !

You are correct to say that there is no reason for a 'normal householder' to consider one of these certificates essential. The need for one comes about if you have had any work done to your house which required a permission, and which resulted in an alteration of the layout, or window positions etc  meaning that the current catastal documents don't exactly match the reality, and will jump up and bite you only when you want to sell. The certificate of abitabilita/agibilita (same thing) following work carried out serves effectively the same purpose as a completion certificate issued by the Building Inspector in the UK. In the past these sort of formalities got glossed over in Italy, (and it is possible to get caught out by having bought a house which you have not done any work to, but which the previous owners had not updated on the registered catastal drawings). This is the bit of law which sagraisolar has encountered, because his comune has started checking up on permissions granted but for which no certificate has been issued. In his case at least he had the work carried out on his own behalf, but you could also be entrapped because of work carried out by the previous owner. Nowadays the law requires notaios, when transacting a house, to receive affirmation that all the catastal drawings are fully current, and (I am told) to also require a certificate of abitabilita. The certificate is valid for as long as no further works are carried out to the house. So, unless you need one of these certificates to sell or rent out your house, or your comune fingers you as a likely source of some income, you don't need one. However, if you are thinking about selling your house it is as well to start the process ahead of time, because it can take up to six months to get one!

I understand that local Councils are checking on the accuracy of the catastal data. If your house was restored by the previous owner about 5 years ago, it may have happened that they carried out the works without all the necessary permits, certificates, etc. This is quite common. We had to get new plans for our property submitted after purchasing it as the previous owner - a builder - carried out the restoration works without updating plans. Variations were minimal, but new detailed plans were necessary. So we had to comply with regulations and we are happy about it. Yes, it ends up costing a bit of money, but the property is perfectly legal and we have peace of mind... and a lighter pocket.

For me agibilita/abitabilita and all the other certifications are completely distinct and separate.  To sell a house you need certificazione energetica, impianti, etc AND a cert of agibilita.  The agibilita is not necessary if the house was built before 1967 (it is one of the anti abusivo things), but if your house was built before 1967 and you have had structural work done technically you should have one reissued.   The agibilita is more to do with room size, windows, seismic precautions, ie - whether the house can be lived in according to the law, and not to do with how much energy it uses.   If it is a property from after 67 the notaio must have the agibilita before stipulating the atto, if not there is no necessity to have one, unless the catastal drawings differ hugely from the previous ones, but this is the notaios call not yours.     Its all to stop two beds and bath shoehorned into the attic with ceiling heights of 1.2m being classed as bedrooms - when it remains underroof space - and so on.   Obviously if your house suddenly has 4 beds instead of 2, the idea is that you should be paying tax on a 4 bed house and not a 2 up two down.   The tecnico who did the original project should sign it off cos its his problem, ie if he didnt do the work well.  Another tecnico who signs is taking legal responsibility for the work of another, and usually its not to be advised! 

In reply to by Ram

I accept your point of view, Ram, with a few reservationas. It is perfectly sensible to ask your plumber/electrician for their cerificates as soon as they have finished the job, and they will be forthcoming - but you do have to ask for them (only because they are lazy and more intertsted in functiuionality than in filling in forms!) As regards the ACE (thermal certificate) I am iunder the impression that this is essential for the comune to issue the 'agibilita'. I could be wrong, and this also could vary depending on the regione. In respect of this thermal cerificate it does appear (this is not clear) that a 'ruin' indisputably constructed ante 1967 NOW needs one of these -  (which is pretty silly if the ruin has no roof!) The aspect of all of this stuff which distrsses me is that trying to establish whether you are following estate agents rules, notaios rules, the absurdly pedantiic rules of the body granting the mutuo, or the letter of the law - well that's impossible.  And - for sprostoni (I think) - no, the tecinco of the comune is not in any respect paragonablile with a building inspector: Ram's comment that the original 'technico' must sign off the work is okayish - definitely the best route, but not the only route.

I am glad that this thread has come up as the matter of a certificato di agibilita is something that has been puzzling/troubling me for some time. We had work done on our house 6 years ago; this included converting the downstairs rooms into living accommodation. I know that all the changes have been registered at the land registry and we have a new catastal value as a result. I asked our architect on numerous occasions for a certificato di agibilita. He has given us a lot of documentation which includes a certificate from the Comune re our fossa biologica and 'certificates' re our gas and electric systems but no overall certificato di agibilita. He tells us that all the items he has given us effectively form a certificato di agibilita. Does anyone have experience of this/have one piece of paper headed Certificato di Agibilita. If there is such a document who issues it, the comune or an architect/geometra. I am sure and happy that all our work has been done by the book and everything registered etc but continue to wonder whether we should have this one elusive piece of paper. Many thanks Richard

Im sure it is a regional thing - here in SIcily we can still autocertificate our non energy saving houses, but in the north you cant.   I havent had a comune refuse a cert of abitabilita because there wasnt an ACE, but that may well be here and not there.   The idea behind these ACE was that in a few years you will have a little ceramic plate next to your house number with the energetic class of your house on it, and it will (apparently) impact hugely on its value.   However, the big problem with the ACE is its all about heat dispersion, not keeping a house cool - so its got bog all to do with houses in the south, but everything to do with houses on ski slopes and the like.  Thats the trouble with a long thin country.  As regards the certification of plant - my advice would be to insist on certification before you pay them.  If you dont they wont do it, and you will have to pay others to do what your plumber should have done in the first place.  Obviously if they issue a certificate they will also need to show a fattura for the work should the Guardia come round, which has obvious implications.   I would get all certification before I paid out any money to anyone - lesson born of experience, and ultimately a huge time saver in the long run.   For Richard and Marie - if your downstairs room has not been structurally changed, ie you havent heightened it, lowered it, put in windows and doors then you dont technically need a Cert of Agibilita.  Alot of people wouldnt own up to having done the work because you will get a higher catastal value and therefore pay more tax - but thats an 'improper' suggestion.   

Thanks Ram.  Although no structural changes we did have some windows and a door or two put in. All approved by the Comune, registered and resulting in a higher catastal value. So I guess we probably do nee the Certificato. Will speak again with our architect to see if I can get to the bottom of this. As people say it may be a regional thing.