A puzzle

Next door to our place is an apartment that has been empty since the old lady who lived there died. It was shortly after I arrived in Bagni di Lucca, probably about 12 years ago.

The roof is clearly leaking and the external walls are damp.

abandoned apartment

It is a perfectly good apartment. I have seen the inside. It is large, with good sized rooms. It needs a complete makeover, including a kitchen and bathroom. The balcony overlooks the river and is a good size. It would have great views up and down the river.

The puzzle is…why haven’t the owners done something with it? It could have been rented. It could be sold. Instead it is just left there to rot, no doubt endangering the apartment below it as well. At the very least they should be made to secure the roof.

Any suggestions?

31 thoughts on “A puzzle

  1. My first guess is that the relatives cannot agree on who owns it! and nobody wants to pay the taxes on it. Inheritance causes so many problems in Italy!

  2. The lady who lived there was Deliah. A very kind lady. She had 1 son if I remember well who lived Bagni di Lucca Villa.I agree it is a very nice appartment but needs renovation. You could ask Simone or Paolo Gitti for relatives

  3. I would agree with Lancashire Lass. If the old lady lived alone, it is quite possible that she did not have close relatives and inheritance laws in Italy are quite complex and, depending on how close the beneficiaries are, to accept the inheritance could be a costly exercise. This is why quite a few buildings go beyond repair as they are simply abandoned. The problem is when you own an apartment located in the same building. The roof is property in common for all owners and for this reason, everyone has to contribute towards its maintenance and repair. It is not the sole responsibility of the upstairs apartment.
    It would be interesting to know who is paying property and local taxes…if these are being paid at all… In any case, if they are unpaid, Equitalia will auction the apartment to recover those monies. Perhaps, the heirs prefer that option…

    • The lady who lived there was not the owner. The people who live underneath know the owners, but also seem unconcerned that it is in such bad repair. If it was above my apartment I would be heading to the Comune to complain.

      • Then, it is up to the other owners in the building to start talking to each other and organize for the repair of that roof. There must be leaks at this stage, which go unnoticed, simply because the top floor has not been occupied for such a long time. Unfortunately, I think that this is quite a common occurrence in Italy. A pity, because these decaying buildings become quite an eyesore. There are ruins…and ruins. Not all of them are beautiful.

  4. Have seen this phenomenon many times over. Unfortunaely, inertia is a big factor in these circumstances, and who knows what’s getting in the way–family dynamics? Lack of resources? Feels like too big a task? Anglo-Saxon cultures see the common good/public space in different ways. Maybe you can contact them and tell them you would love to help them find summer renters, and see if his can help them break whatever logjam is getting in the way? Tricky!

  5. A house in Italy has heritage and family value more than property value. I know at least three persons who have shut up the house their mothers died in at least ten years ago and have not set foot inside since. Our house had a similar experience before we could buy it. Strange but true

  6. Yes it is a shame to see this happen. Just to maintain the property would be in the best interest of the owner. I agree with you Deb, it does not make sense.

  7. Perhaps the owners are just waiting for someone to offer them an extraordinary amount of money to buy it. I agree that I wouldn’t want to live under it though.

  8. I would think that if it is left too much longer it will be in danger of collapsing – that will be much more expensive to fix. How stupid to leave it to rot. Unfortunately, stupidity is not easily fixed.

  9. Unfortunately, letting it get into such a poor state of disrepair just means more expense at the end of the day….especially when it was habitable/rentable when the lady passed. Really does not make much sense!

  10. Find real estate agent and do title search on the property
    We can all speculate this and that but this is the way to go
    Then the agent could offer to sell it for the owner before it goes beyond repair it is may be a great fixer upper! Can anyone take pictures inside?

      • I have a friend coming in July who is looking for somewhere – this may be of interest to her. Having access or knowing more sounds complicated but perhaps not impossible. Now that you have brought it up something will happen!

      • I’m sure the apartment would be for sale if the owners were contacted, but whether the price would be appropriate is another matter. The position is great and it is a good size, but it needs lots of work.

      • What are the comps in the area as far as prices for rent or for sale does anybody know? Is there any real estate agent in this blog who can provide some info? Thank you

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