How to install a pergola without violating condominium regulations


Emma Potter

The installation of a pergola in condominium contexts represents an increasingly popular solution for improving the liveability of private outdoor spaces, such as balconies, terraces and flat roofs.

This removable structure, which offers protection from the sun and atmospheric agents, can be placed without the need for special authorizations, as long as certain conditions are respected.

The following article explores the requirements necessary for installing a pergola in a condominium, highlighting the relevant regulations and recent jurisprudential guidelines that outline its contours. Through a detailed analysis, we aim to provide clear and in-depth guidance for all those who wish to enrich their outdoor living space with this elegant solution, without running into legal problems or condominium disputes.

What is meant by Pergotenda?

Before delving into the regulations and authorization procedures, it is essential to define what exactly is meant by “pergotenda”. This structure is designed to offer effective protection from the sun and atmospheric agents, thus improving the usability of outdoor spaces.

According to the definition provided by the Council of State (Sentence no. 306 of 25 January 2017), the pergola is characterized by being a lightweight construction, made up of materials such as tarpaulin, including retractable ones, cane or bamboo mats, or transparent materials.

Important to point out that it is without closed walls and is made up of elements that can be easily assembled, so much so that removal is possible through simple disassembly rather than demolition.

The peculiarity of not implying an increase in volume, the absence of masonry works and the fact that it is not permanently anchored, makes the pergotenda an ideal solution for those who want to enrich their outdoor living space without making invasive changes to the building.

These characteristics clearly distinguish it from other external structures, placing it in a specific category of furnishing and protection elements for terraces and flat roofs.

Regulations and authorization process for the installation of a pergola

The installation of a pergola in a condominium context is part of the interventions of free construction, as defined by the art. 6 of the Consolidated Construction Law. This means that, for the construction of a pergola that respects the characteristics described above, no specific permits or qualifications are required.

Article 6
Free construction activity

Without prejudice to more restrictive provisions provided for by regional regulations and urban planning instruments, and in any case in compliance with other sector regulations having an impact on the regulation of construction activity and, in particular, with the provisions contained in Legislative Decree 29 October 1999, n. 490, the following interventions can be carried out without a qualification:
a) ordinary maintenance interventions;
b) interventions (…) aimed at eliminating architectural barriers that do not involve the construction of ramps or external elevators, or structures that alter the shape of the building;
c) temporary works for subsoil research activities which have a geognostic nature or are carried out in areas outside the built-up centre.

However, there are very specific limits and conditions that must be respected in order to proceed with the installation without running into legal problems or disputes with the condominium.

First of all, it is essential that there is no express prohibition in the condominium regulations of a contractual nature. Furthermore, the installation must not compromise in any way the stability, safety, architectural decor or aesthetics of the building. It is also important that the pergola does not obstruct the view or property of other condominium owners.

Faced with these restrictions, the condominium owner concerned must, as a good rule, inform the condominium administrator of his project, thus allowing a preventive evaluation and the involvement of the condominium assembly where necessary.

This precautionary approach serves to prevent potential disagreements or legal actions, while allowing you to enjoy your outdoor areas in a functional and harmonious manner with the condominium context. Preventive communication therefore represents a crucial step in the installation process, ensuring that all regulatory and relational aspects are duly considered and respected.

Limits and communication obligations towards the condominium

When you decide to install a pergola in your condominium outdoor space, it is essential not only to consider the rules and regulations within the condominium, but also to respect certain communication obligations. The law, through article 1122 of the civil code, requires the condominium owner not to cause damage to the common parts of the building and not to jeopardize the stability, safety or architectural decoration of the building with his own modifications.

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 meeting.

In this context, before proceeding with the installation of the pergola, the condominium owner must send a communication to the condominium administrator, describing in detail the project to be carried out. This step is not only a sign of transparency and respect towards the condominium community, but also serves to prevent any future disagreements or disputes. The administrator, in turn, has the task of informing the condominium assembly, which has the power to intervene in the event of failure to comply with condominium rules or specific prohibitions provided for by the regulation.

Furthermore, if the installation of the pergola does not comply with the established criteria, the assembly could request the removal of the structure or initiate legal action for compensation for damages. It is therefore clear that compliance with communication obligations and regulations is fundamental to avoid legal complications and ensure harmonious coexistence within the condominium context.

Recent guidelines from the Council of State on the installation of pergolas

Italian jurisprudence has addressed the issue of installing pergolas in condominium contexts on several occasions, offering a clear and updated picture of the conditions under which these structures can be considered acceptable.

The Council of State, through various rulings, has outlined specific criteria that allow the conformity of pergolas with building and condominium regulations to be assessed.

A fundamental characteristic that the Council of State has highlighted concerns the removable and non-permanent nature of the pergola. If the structure is easily assembled and disassembled, it does not affect the volume of the building and does not alter the permanent aesthetic or structural characteristics, then it can be considered comparable to a temporary external furnishing element. This approach allows us to distinguish pergolas from other more invasive and permanent structures, which would require specific qualifications.

Furthermore, the Council of State underlined that, when a pergola does not involve the creation of new living spaces and serves exclusively to improve the comfort of existing outdoor spaces, its installation falls within the scope of free building interventions. This means that, by respecting the criteria of removability, non-permanence and absence of impacts on the stability or aesthetics of the building, the installation of a pergola can proceed without the need to obtain special permits or authorizations.

These jurisprudential guidelines offer valuable guidance for condominium owners interested in installing pergolas, underlining the importance of carefully evaluating the characteristics of the structure and the context in which it is intended to be installed, in order to ensure compliance with current regulations and compliance with the rights of the other inhabitants of the condominium.


The installation of a pergola in a condominium area represents an extremely advantageous solution for those who wish to enrich their outdoor space with an elegant and functional structure, capable of offering protection from atmospheric agents while maintaining the aesthetic harmony of the building. The current regulations, supported by clear jurisprudence, outline an accessible path for the installation of these structures, provided that certain rules are respected and correct communication is carried out within the condominium context.

The flexibility and removability of the pergola, together with its non-invasiveness in terms of permanent modifications to the building, make it an ideal option for improving the quality of outdoor life. It is essential, however, that each installation takes place in full compliance with the regulations and condominium coexistence, ensuring that the structure does not jeopardize the safety, stability or architectural decorum of the building and does not limit the rights of other condominium owners.