The role of the geometra in Italy

Enzo Ricci,  Friday, 1 September 2017

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The geometra can play a significant role in the purchase and renovation of your Italian house. Geometra means 'surveyor.' But this translation does not cover the load because the geometra is much more than a surveyor. He carries out a large number of the activities performed in the UK by an architect, estate agent, supervisor and contractor. The geometra is unique for Italy. In other European countries, you will not find this position.

Overview of the tasks of an Italian geometra:

  • Act as an estate agent. To do this, you have to undergo training and exams in Italy to obtain a real estate agent license.
  • Investigate the land register to find out all information about a property. Is the property registered with the land registry? Are the cadastral data still correct? It is often the case that there have been illegal renovations. The geometra will sort this out and will see to it that the seller returns everything to its original state as described in the cadastre.
  • Preparation of plans and specifications for smaller renovation works. For larger improvements, the plans must be drawn up by an official architect.
  • A geometra helps to evaluate the bids of the different contractors.
  • Request permits from the municipality. A local geometra has the correct access points to the municipality and can ensure that permits are issued more quickly.
  • A geometra checks the execution of the renovation work.
  • The seller must demonstrate that the installation of gas, water, and light complies with the standards. The geometra checks this.
As a foreigner, it is convenient to have a geometra as a supervisor. He knows the local customs and methods of construction and can accurately assess whether the work is carried out by the drawn up plans and permits. It is important that he has good contacts with the municipal officials.

How do you find a good geometra? Ask acquaintances or other foreigners in the region if they know a good geometra. Or try to find out the contact details via the real estate agent, local people or the town hall. Ask the geometra for references. It is important to choose a good geometra as it is your right hand for the purchase or conversion of your property. You have to be able to trust him completely.  

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