Sardinia is an island that has for many years been the subject of an extensive building programme.  Property developers and investors fully recognise the charm of Sardinia's natural resources with its beautiful beaches, coves and crystal clear waters.   Projects involving property developers from England, France, Russia and Germany have given rise to a wide range of developments with varying types of real estate with a value from less than €100,000 rising to millions of euros.

One of the consequences of the volume of building projects is that buildings have been built in direct contravention of the regulations imposed by law creating a considerable number of properties that are illegal.  The sanctions for such properties are severe and often the local and national newspapers report news concerning the "demolition" sentences served on luxury villas which have been bought by influential and wealthy people.

In attempting to cash in for purely speculative purposes the builders and investors have created significant problems for the unwary purchasers of these properties who may have sunk considerable funds into buying a house in Sardinia.  The harsh penalties for the property owners who are discovered to have illegally built properties are not limited to fines, as mentioned previously, they can include demolition or confiscation.  Not only that, once the breaches are discovered the owner is then in possession of a property that cannot easily be sold.  The whole problem highlights the vital importance of instructing a law firm such as Giambrone with a high level of expertise in real estate law to review the entire purchase process and ensure there are no breaches of the regulations and that the property has been built legally.

However, in some circumstances, there are solutions to the problem that can, to some extent, restore a building's legal status and prevent the sanctions such as demolition being visited upon the property.   Amongst the potential solutions to this difficult problem is the possibility of amnesty and building amnesty.   Building amnesty is a special piece of legislation enacted by the State itself in response to this problem that allows the total or partial cancellation of sanctions or penalties.   Property owners to whom the building amnesty may apply can voluntarily renovate the building to make it compliant.  The amnesty protects against forced demolition whilst the owner takes steps to remedy the situation.  The building permit amnesty can apply to buildings constructed without a building permit or with deviations from the title granted.  

Once a property has been discovered to be illegally built and steps have been taken to rectify the situation and property owners begin renovation plans to assist in the legalisation of the property, it must be noted that there are regional laws related to illegal building which establish the limits on the works which are aimed at the extent of the renovation works.  Consideration will be given to the construction zone, together with the volumes of illegal buildings, etc.

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.