Condominium apartment: is it possible to divide it into two?


Emma Potter

Is it really possible to transform and divide your apartment into two? With the introduction of the Sblocca Italia Law, promulgated on 11 November 2014 with law no. 164, a new era opens for the splitting up and themerger of residential units in condominiums.

This legislation has simplified procedures, allowing owners to divide or combine apartments with greater flexibility, without the need for municipal permits, but always respecting the existing volume of the buildings.

But what are the limits and possibilities of this rule?

The splitting and merging procedure

According to the Sblocca Italia Law, it is possible to change the internal layout of the apartments, such as dividing a large apartment into two smaller ones or merging several units, without having to request specific permits from the Municipality.

This is permitted as long as such modifications do not involve an increase in the volume of the building or a change in the intended use of the spaces, such as transforming a home into an office.

Before starting the works, it is necessary to send the Municipality a sworn Notice of Commencement of Works (CILA), certified by a qualified technician.

This document must certify the compliance of the works with urban planning, anti-seismic and energy performance regulations, ensuring that the modifications do not influence the structural parts of the building.

From a legal point of view, thearticle 1122 of the civil code establishes that the owner of a real estate unit can make internal changes to improve the enjoyment of the same, as long as the common areas are not damaged or the stability and architectural decoration of the building are compromised.

Article 1122
Works on parts of property or individual use

In the real estate unit owned by him or in the parts normally intended for common use, which have been assigned exclusive ownership or intended for individual use, the condominium owner cannot carry out works that cause damage to the common parts or cause prejudice to the stability, safety or architectural decorum of the building.

In any case, prior notice is given to the administrator who reports it to the assembly.

It is essential that the owner informs the condominium administrator in advance of the planned changes, who will then have to communicate them to the condominiums' assembly.

Although the assembly does not possess a real veto power, excluding the case of express contractual prohibitions in the condominium regulations, it can express opposition if the changes exceed the limits imposed by the law or by the regulation itself.

The case of the Court of Rome

An important case that highlights the legal implications of the Sblocca Italia Law was dealt with by the Court of Rome with the sentence no. 3381 of 03 March 2022.

The judges addressed the issue of splitting a real estate unit within a condominium. The controversy centered on the legality of a meeting resolution that denied an owner the right to divide his apartment into two units separate homes.

The Court emphasized the principle according to which every condominium owner has the right to renovate and modify their housing unit according to their needs, as long as such modifications do not contravene existing legal or regulatory provisions. In particular, it was noted that the owner had complied with all legal requirementsincluding those established by article 1122 of the civil code, which require not to cause damage to the stability, safety or architectural decorum of the building.

The CTU (Office Technical Consultancy) played a decisive role in ensuring that the proposed works conformed to the relevant regulations. The CTU, after carrying out investigations, confirmed that the modifications to the real estate unit they would not have altered the architectural decor or the safety of the buildingthese conditions which led the judge to declare the illegitimacy of the meeting resolution which attempted to block the split.

This ruling represents a significant legal precedent, as it reiterates the priority of the individual right of ownership and modification of the property, in compliance with the laws in force, compared to the potential restrictions imposed by the condominium context.