Difficulties with houses for 1 euro in Italy
Countries and cities
01.04.2024 Italy Mussomeli   11
Difficulties with houses for 1 euro in Italy

This Italian town is having trouble selling its empty houses for one euro. That's why. Selling houses for one euro in Italy has attracted a lot of attention in recent years, with dozens of people looking to buy abandoned properties in some of the country's deserted cities.

But while cities like Mussomeli in Sicily and Zungoli in Campania were able to sell various abandoned houses to foreigners dreaming of living the Italian dream, some cities found it difficult to sell their empty houses.

Among them is Patricka, a remote medieval village of barely 3,000 inhabitants south of Rome, where more than 40 houses, abandoned in the early 1900s, are left to fend for themselves.

Situated on a rocky plateau overlooking the Sacco Valley in central Italy, Patricka is an idyllic place, but life here has not been easy for locals in the past. Many have left to seek a better future elsewhere, leaving their homes empty for decades.

In an attempt to breathe new life into a dying village, the town's mayor, Lucio Fiordaliso, has tried to emulate the success of other Italian villages that have put theirs up empty houses for sale for one euro, or just over a dollar. But so far he can't boast of success.

"We first mapped all the abandoned houses and formally invited the original owners to hand over their dilapidated family properties to us, but we only managed to sell two houses for one euro," Fiordaliso tells CNN. While local governments in towns left sparsely populated by earthquakes and other natural disasters have the right to put abandoned houses up for sale without the owners' permission, that's not the case for Patrika and other similar towns.

"We first need to get permission from the owners or their heirs to dispose of their old homes," says Fiordaliso.

"Only then can we put these properties up for sale with their consent, which is what the process does very difficult. Almost impossible."

Fiordaliso explains that the city received a "positive response" from 10 owners after sending out a "public call for participation in our one-euro houses project", but they refused last moment. The others never responded. Fiordaliso believes that those who changed their minds may have done so because of problems with other relatives owning shares of the same property.

Abandoned buildings in old Italian cities are sometimes divided among several heirs who own only part - like the bathroom, balcony, kitchen - and nothing can be sold without the written consent of all heirs, according to Italian law.

In the past, it was customary for children to inherit parts of their family home, including plots lands, wells and gardens.

But it is not always guaranteed that relatives will still be on good terms and/or in contact many years later.

" The disposal of potential one-euro houses faced a stalemate as most relatives sharing the same property were at odds with each other for personal reasons or could not agree on the sale, some barely spoke or knew each other, others lived in distant cities and even abroad," says the mayor.

In some cases, homes were never formally divided among heirs in the past, so the ownership line was broken along the way with no clear indication of who should be the current owner .

Tracking down descendants of owners who had long ago migrated abroad, mainly to the United States, Canada and Argentina, and may have had different surnames, or may have transferred their Italian properties to foreigners without notification to the Patrika town hall was a very difficult task.

"It's like looking for a needle in a haystack," he adds.

The only two abandoned houses that Patrika was able to sell under their program for one euro, were wholly owned by two local residents, so no interaction with fourth-degree cousins ​​or great-great-grandchildren was required, and they could sell the property without any complications.

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