The certificate of housing suitability is a document that certifies the number of persons allowed to reside in a specific accommodation, in compliance with the requirements provided for by the current regulations, aimed at guaranteeing the security and safety of the inhabitants.

The Ministerial Decree of the 5th of July, 1975 is the main regulatory provision on the requirements for suitable accommodation: the minimum height must not be lower than 2.70 meters, and its surface must be at least 14 square meters per person, until the fourth person. After 4 inhabitants, the surface required is equal to 10 square meters.

When is the certificate of housing suitability needed?

The certificate is required for foreign citizens who intend to obtain:

  1. the residence permit for employment, including the regularization of domestic workers and caregivers;
  2. the Residence Permit for long-term residents, possibly extended to family members;
  3. the family reunification or family cohesion;
  4. the entry of accompanying family members.

Who is allowed to request the certificate?

The application can be submitted by the owner of the accommodation, by the tenant having a registered lease or sublease contract, or by the person who is a resident, domiciled, or a guest of the accommodation.

Where can you request it?

The competent office issuing the certificate varies depending on the municipality where the accommodation is located. Useful information can usually be found on the official websites of the municipalities.

Generally, the certificate is issued by the technical offices or the Immigration desks of the municipality, by the public health offices of the local health authorities, or by the Prefecture (a regional office of the Home Office) through an online application.

How to request the certificate

The rules for the application vary based on the Municipality.

Some Municipalities have digitalized the procedure: by acceding to a dedicated portal via a digital identity system or a simple registration, you will be able to upload the necessary documents and proceed with the request.

Most of the municipal offices, however, require you to apply for the certificate via email or certified email, or by showing up to the dedicated office.

By submitting the application on the Prefecture’s website, following the submission of an online form, the applicant needs to show up in person at the Municipality of residence to submit the original documentation and, in case of complete documentation, await confirmation by the competent office for the withdrawal of the certificate.

Apart from the cases when the certificate is required for work reasons, in addition to the cadastral survey and the cadastral map of the accommodation, as well as the copy of the document allowing the use of the accommodation (ownership, lease, loan for use agreement, or declaration of hospitality), you will need to submit an assessment of the health & hygienic legal standards, which is subject to a visit of a surveyor or other qualified professional.

The certificate is then released within a period of one month, but the timing can be longer depending on the Municipality.

What time validity does the certificate have?

The certificate of housing suitability has a validity of 6 months from its release, or 1 year depending on the Municipality issuing it.

In case of a certificate for family reunification, the document can be used also after 6 months from its release, by attaching a self-declaration of the family status reporting the number of people living in the accommodation.

Download the PDF

For assistance do not hesitate to contact us.

Written by Pietro Derossi, Achraf Fadhel and Claudia Elli.