Mobile homes are prefabricated structures with wheels that can be used for residential or holiday purposes. In the market there are tons of model of mobile homes: from small size mobile homes with basic furniture and accessories to luxury mobile homes with stunning exterior design and equipped with high level furniture. They are a perfect pick as a temporary residential solution or to spend holidays in a quiet and untouched place.
In Italy, mobile homes can be set up in a specific mobile home park or in a private land lot. However, while the first option is easy and immediate, tough often more expensive, setting up a mobile home in a private and lot requires a careful assessment of the geographically relevant laws and regulations.
According to Italian legislation, a permit is required to set up a mobile home in a private land lot, as mobile homes are considered equivalent to all other residential buildings and structures. Obtaining such a permit is not only tricky, due to a long and slow paper work, but also very expensive. Moreover, the plot has to be classified for building, thus the plot would be one of a higher market value. By chance, there are exceptions to this rule that make possible to set up a mobile home without a building permit and, then, also in a plot not classified for building.
The first exception, recently introduced, is interesting for touristic businesses. It permits to set up mobile home without a building permit inside a touristic facility, like a camping, a hotel or a resort when:
a) the facility in its whole is authorized under the zoning, construction and environmental regulations;
b) the facility complies with the regional laws related to touristic sector. In Italy, the power to regulate touristic sector is upon regions, thus requirements may be different whether you want to set up a mobile home in Sicily or in Sardinia.
This exception has been provided in order to facilitate Italian touristic facilities and to improve their competitiveness, since many other touristic countries does not require specific permits to set up mobile homes when it is for touristic purposes.
The second exception allow to set up a mobile home without a building permit on a non-building plot when some conditions occur:
a) the mobile home should have working wheels and should be able to be immediately moved without any time consuming activity. Thus, the home should not be hooked in the ground. Water, electricity and sewage may be connected, but only if they are so in a temporary way;
b) the mobile home should have a valid vehicle certification and should be authorized to run in public roads;
c) the mobile home and its location should be meant to satisfy exclusively temporary needs.
This last condition is probably the trickiest of the three, since it is not completely clear what “temporary needs” means. According to recent case law, a mobile home cannot be set up in a place for more than 90 days to be considered temporary. But still, the mobile home cannot be set up without a permit, even for less than 90 days, if it is always set on a seasonal basis. This means it would not be admitted to set up a mobile home, even for less than 90 days and fulfilling all other conditions, two months every summer in the same place, since this use would be considered as stable and recurring, requiring then a building permit.
A mobile home may be a great and flexible solution for living or spending holiday in Italy, but you should be always aware of law and regulations. Acting ignoring or disrespecting the building Italian legislation may end up with a sever conviction for unlawful building, punished by Italian criminal law. If you are thinking of setting up a mobile home in Italy, you can contact our lawyers of the Real Estate Department to be assisted by professionals.