Italian decree law, so-called “Sblocca Italia” (decree law 133/2014, converted into law 164/2014) has introduced a new instrument, originally from the United States and already common practice abroad, which seeks to diversify tourism products and services and encourage investment in works to redevelop existing hotel businesses: the institution of Condhotels.

Article 31 of the above decree envisages the opportunity to acquire, with regard to “hotel businesses open to the public, with single management, comprised of one or more property units located in the same building, or by parts of units, which provide accommodation, accessory services and possibly meals, in rooms used for hospitality”, to integrate or complement services, one or more “residential units, equipped with independent cooking facilities, whose surface area may not exceed forty percent of the total surface area of the properties in question”, delegating the establishment of operating conditions to a subsequent decree of the Chairman of the Council of Ministers.

Essentially, it regards the opportunity to purchase the sole ownership of a property unit within a hotel facility, for personal use, with the option of enjoying the services offered by the facility, alongside which a mandate is envisaged to be given to the hotelier, who reserves the right to rent the unit in question during periods in which the owner is not using the same, sharing the income generated with the latter.

A private individual, who decides to invest by using this instrument, can avoid the main costs and inconveniences linked to purchasing and managing a second home, and at the same time, enjoy the hotel’s services when staying there, earning a profit from the property unit when not using it.

There will be further advantages for the hotelier as the sale of 40% of the total surface area of the property allows the partial immediate return on the investment and lower financial charges.

The name of this institution recalls – not by coincidence – the term condominium, the rules of which apply to the use of common areas, as confirmed by the Supreme Court, asserting that a condominium is established ipso iure (even if the property is to be used as hotel accommodation) in situations in which different persons have sole ownership of portions of property, and at the same time utilise common services and facilities. This entails, in primis, the need to establish an assembly of condominium owners.

The introduction of condhotels represents a new challenge, which seeks to conciliate the needs of private individuals and those of hoteliers in order to re-launch the property market and, more generally, our country’s economy.