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External lift shaft structure: is it still possible to install it if the condominium does not want to?

The question of installing an external lift can be the cause of possible quarrels within the condominium. The reason for these disagreements is naturally due to the fact that some residents may not appreciate the construction of the shaft structure for the external lift from a purely aesthetic point of view, which is in practice the basis for the installation of this type of system. When it is necessary to facilitate the transport of a disabled person, which is made practically impossible by the existing lift, it is in fact necessary to resort to the installation of the elevator inside a metal framework, a structure that has the task of facilitating vertical transport in conditions of absolute safety. A completely legitimate act, which often provokes the resentment of other residents of the property concerned, who may see their right infringed.

External lift: its installation is perfectly legitimate

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To immediately clear the field of possible misunderstandings, it should be remembered as the installation of an external lift at the expense of a single resident, without the prior authorization of the assembly and also in case the work is not provided for in the original project of the building, it is absolutely legitimate.
The judges of the Supreme Court of Cassation , in a sentence dating back to May 2014 and marked by the number 10852, resolved on the matter. The case had been raised by a woman’s appeal against the decision made by the Court of Appeal, which had gone to recognize the legitimacy of innovation achieved by another resident. If the appellant claimed the need not only to eliminate the external lift with its shaft structure, the judge on the other hand, without any doubt, considered that the installation of the external lift, at the exclusive service of a real estate unit, would constitute an innovation carried out at the expense of the owner and as such not requiring the authorization of the condominium, on the basis of the provisions of Articles 1120 and 1121 of the Civil Code. The Court also considered that the operation in question did not affect the stability or architectural decor of the building.

The main point: the removal of architectural barriers

However, it should be stressed once again that the real problem is the one relating to the problem of architectural barriers which can limit or prevent access to the building and the real livability of an apartment. A theme recalled by a previous sentence of the Supreme Court issued in 2012 (number 14096), according to which the operations aimed at eliminating architectural barriers fall within the powers of individual resident pursuant to Article 1102 of the Civil Code.
A legal setting which has naturally led many condominiums to opt for the adoption of external elevators, served and delimited by a shaft structure, or a metal structure with glass infill or simple metal sheet positioned on the shaft structure base fixed to the sides of the the pit. Just to make sure that the system does not affect the aesthetics of the building, the shaft structure of the external elevator is usually accompanied by excellent finishes. The structure that must house the elevator obtained in this way then goes to comply with a series of safety requirements, such as the necessary resistance to atmospheric agents, the brightness and the ability to operate even under very difficult working conditions. A feature that becomes precious especially in areas where the stresses created by the wind or snow, or by the high seismic coefficient, can add further value to the solution proposed.