Before signing the final deed of sale, the vendor is obliged to release a certain number of documents, some of which are mandatory for a successful completion.
One of these documents is the so called "Certificato di Agibilità" (certificate of use and occupancy). Whilst in case other documents are missing the Notary cannot allow the parties to complete, if this document is missing the parties can still complete and register the final deed of sale. The Notary will possibly just write in the final deed of sale (Contratto di Compravendita) that the "Certificato di Agibilità"(certificate of use and occupancy) is just missing. The completion will be valid!
However there are some implication in case you do not have this kind of certificate. The "Certificato di Agibilità" is a document attesting the existence of the safety, hygiene, health and energy conservation of a property. Without this document then, you cannot have the certainties described above.
In case you have not carried out a survey before your purchase and such a certificate is not released from the vendor, your lawyer might give you some advice or suggestion on the best way to proceed.
In any case what you need to know at this stage is that even without this certificate the Notary will not stop the completion to go ahead.
The most important news regarding this matter is that the High Court has recently stated that the purchaser can refuse to sign the final deed of sale if the certificate of use and occupancy (Certificato di Agibilità) is missing. This important decision has a significant consequence. The purchaser in fact can refuse to complete by not incur in any responsibility for non-fulfillment of the contract. Therefore the Vendor cannot accuse the purchaser by keeping the deposit that the purchaser has possibly already transferred to him.
Moreover it needs to be stressed that, given the failure of the seller to produce the documents required, the buyer can still demand performance if he is still interested to buy the property. Alternatively he can ask for the termination of the contract. In any case, he can claim compensation for damages suffered due to the breach of contractual obligations.
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The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.