In defining and evaluating when a home should be considered "luxury" it is easy to get confused. The legislation has undergone changes over time, so it is important to understand which legal texts to refer to in order not to be mistaken.
Fortunately, while in the past ample space was given to the interpretation of individual rules, today there is greater clarity and a more homogeneous discipline on the subject.
In order to establish the parameters and characteristics that serve to define a "luxury" property, we can start from the changes introduced starting from 1 January 2014.
The previous legislation (Ministerial Decree - Ministry of Public Works of 2 August 1969) indicated its surface as an essential requirement to define a "luxury" property. Specifically, “real estate units with a total useful area of more than 240 square meters were considered as such. (excluding balconies, terraces, cellars, attics, stairs and parking spaces) ".
In the calculation of the area, according to the legislation prior to 2014, the area relating to the internal rooms of the house was also included, even if not compliant with town planning requirements (falling under the so-called "usability").
With these reference parameters and characteristics it was really difficult to establish exactly whether a property fell into the "luxury" category or not. There were therefore frequent distortions and inaccurate interpretations often based on incorrect calculations of the surface.
The new legislation, which came into force on 1 January 2014, introduces new elements on which to base the definition of "luxury property". To determine when a property is considered luxury, it is necessary to start from the analysis of the cadastral categories.
On the basis of these, those belonging to category A / 8 (houses in villas), those of category A / 1 (stately homes) fall into the categories of luxury properties (and therefore not subject to concessions and prohibition of foreclosure), and those that fall into the cadastral category A / 9 (castles and palaces of eminent artistic and historical merits).
This change in the legislation was also introduced to put an end to the disputes relating to the interpretation of the requirement of the overall surface area (which should not have exceeded 240 square meters).
In this regard, to facilitate even more the application of the new rules, the case law of the first and second instance has intervened to declare the retroactivity of these if they are more favorable to the taxpayer.
Going back to the cadastral category of the property is easy. It is necessary to find the deed of provenance of the property (it can be a deed of purchase, or donation, or succession), in which the notary usually inserts the cadastral category to which it belongs. If you do not have the original deed, you can always contact the Territorial Agency at the Revenue Agency.
Given that, according to the law, a property is considered luxury if it has an area greater than 240 square meters, the judges pointed out that it cannot be limited to the “living area” alone. It is the usability requirement of the surface that allows you to understand whether a property is luxurious or not.
The housing potential of the property, and not the actual habitability, is the index on which the cadastral area should be calculated.