Do you live in or invest in a residential flat in Monaco and wish to carry out renovation work? In order for the work to be conducted in the best possible conditions and for not being contested, certain rules and stages must be observed.
The principle is that you can undertake work freely in your home if it does not affect the common areas or the external appearance of the building and if it does not change the purpose or layout of the premises. This work may include, for example, the laying of a covering, painting or the renovation of your bathroom or kitchen.
If you are a tenant, you should first ask your landlord for express permission to carry out any type of work, otherwise you will have to return the flat to its original state, at your own expense.
If the planned work affects the structure of the building, either externally or internally (e.g. by knocking down load-bearing walls), the agreement of the co-owners is required at a general meeting, whether ordinary or extraordinary. The syndic of the co-ownership will then proceed to sign the private building permit files affecting the said structure.
Generally speaking, for all the work you intend to carry out and if your property is in a co-ownership, you will need to submit a declaration of work to your building manager, who will give you the authorisations, particularly relating to access, and all the recommendations specific to your building (times to be respected, authorised equipment, access routes for workers, protections to be installed, etc.).
We also recommend that you have a bailiff's report drawn up before the start of the work in the adjacent flats, in order to protect you from possible disputes with your neighbours concerning damage that may have been caused to their property during the work.
Depending on the nature of the work envisaged, acoustic tests must be carried out and the sound insulation of the property will be checked at the end of the work in order to measure the impact, in terms of decibels, of the work affecting the floors in particular.
Furthermore, it should be noted that companies, craftsmen or subcontractors who are not established in Monaco and who wish to carry out work on public or private sites, must inform the administration (Economic Development Department) of the nature, location, date and duration of their intervention. The procedure to be followed differs according to the planned duration of the work.
Finally, in all cases, and whatever the duration of the work, no modification may be made without prior authorisation to the interior fittings or external arrangements of existing constructions. This principle is laid down in article 1 of Sovereign Order n°3.647 of 09/09/1966 concerning town planning, construction and roads, as amended, which is the reference law in the Principality.
Application for authorisation (only for works requiring it)
This authorisation is an essential document issued by the Direction de la Prospective, de l'Urbanisme et de la Mobilité ("DPUM"), which is responsible, in particular, for examining construction projects.
Any application for building and/or demolition authorisation, or for prior approval, must be drawn up in accordance with a form called " Appendix 1 " in which the information relating to the petitioner and the nature of the work are given. It must also include a summary table of the documents to be attached according to the nature of the work intended.
A certain procedure and certain stages must be observed, which is why, whatever the nature of the request, it must be the subject of a file signed by an architect registered with the Order of Architects of the Principality of Monaco.
The file must be submitted to the DPUM in duplicate, one original and one copy signed only by the architect. A digital copy of the file must be filed on the Administration's dedicated server or sent to the said Directorate on a physical medium. The examination of the application begins when the file is complete and the documents comply with the provisions in force.
In the case of internal alterations or external arrangements that do not fundamentally modify the appearance of the buildings, the DPUM has a period of 45 days from the issue of the receipt of the application to inform the petitioner of its decision, whether it is a request for prior approval or an application for building and/or demolition authorisation.
However, if the project only concerns internal improvements, it does not require the opinion of an advisory committee; authorisation is then given directly within the forty-five day period by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt.
Issuing the authorisation
Work can only begin when the DPUM issues the authorisation, which is valid only for the person(s) designated by name.
In the event of a property ownership transfer during the period of authorisation validity, the new owner must request the transfer of the previously granted authorisation after agreement from the beneficiary of the initial authorisation, specifying that he/she endorses the file and plans previously submitted. This transfer can only be refused in cases where the financial guarantees presented by the transferee are not considered valid. The examination of these guarantees and the decision must take place within thirty days of the documents constituting these guarantees being submitted.
The new authorisation which will be granted by the authority which issued the previous one will be subject to the same requirements, in particular with regard to aesthetic and public interest conditions; it will take effect from the date of issue of the initial authorisation.
Once the work has been completed, it is necessary to request a verification visit from the DPUM within one month in order to obtain final authorisation to occupy the modified premises. To this end, the applicant must draw up the aforementioned application and provide all the documents required in the building permit, the updated plans, if these have been modified, and the plans of the alterations made.
The DPUM may carry out a verification if the corresponding request is not submitted within a reasonable period of time from the date of completion of the work.
The purpose of the inspection is to ascertain compliance with all regulatory requirements relating to health, safety and environmental protection, as well as with all conditions resulting from the Ordinance and the regulatory building permit. To this end, the DPUM will require certificates issued by inspection offices concerning, in particular, the compliance of electrical and fire installations, as well as the results of an acoustic test to ensure that the sound insulation of the property has not been negatively affected.
In the event of modifications to the authorised works, the DPUM may request that they be aligned or that a modification file be submitted, signed by an architect who is a member of the Principality's Council of Architects and validated by the building's manager.
If the work does not comply with all the above points, the DPUM may carry out a provisional inspection, giving the licensee formal notice to bring the work into compliance within a given period. At the request of the licensee or automatically if the request is not submitted by the deadline, the DPUM will proceed with the final inspection once the work has been completed.
When all the conditions and requirements imposed on the licensee are completed, the inspection is carried out by a Commission composed of representatives of the administrative services in accordance with their competence with regard to the nature of the work to be inspected. It is accompanied by an authorisation to occupy the property, issued to the licensee within one month of the inspection visit, certifying that the property can actually be used for the purpose for which it is intended.
The Commission then draws up a report on the completion of the work.
Penalties are applicable in the event of infringements of the provisions of the above-mentioned Ordinance, established by the engineers and sworn agents of the public works department as well as by all other agents with the authority to issue reports. Obstructing the right of inspection of the said officials and agents is punishable by six days to one month's imprisonment and a fine of between 2,250 and 9,000 euros (provided for in Article 26, number 2 of the Penal Code), or by one of these two penalties only.
Moreover, the beneficiaries of the works, architects, contractors or other persons responsible for the execution of the works who do not comply with the provisions of the said Ordinance or with those of the sovereign ordinances provided for therein, or with the requirements of the authorisations issued in accordance with the said provisions, shall be punished by a fine of between 18,000 and 90,000 euros (provided for in article 26, number 4 of the Penal Code).
The court orders either the demolition of the irregular constructions in order to restore the property to its previous state, or the execution of the prescriptions laid down by the law, or the bringing into conformity of the constructions with the conditions of the authorisation order. It sets a deadline for the offender to carry out the measures ordered, under penalty of a fine per day of delay.
In addition, if the situation has not been rectified by the end of the period set by the judgment, the Minister of State may have the work ordered by the court carried out ex officio, at the expense and risk of the offenders.
This is without prejudice to administrative or professional sanctions.
When a person, already convicted, commits one of the above-mentioned offences again, the fine is increased to twice the amount.
In the light of what precedes, it is thus advisable to respect well the required formalities. Valeri Agency's team accompanies you, not only to find you a place to live, but also to accompany you with the help of trustworthy service providers, in your steps relative to the works that you would like to undertake to benefit from your property in all serenity.
Do not hesitate to contact us!
For more information:
- Ordonnance Souveraine n°3.647 du 09/09/1966 concernant l'urbanisme, la construction et la voirie, modifiée :
- Steps to be taken to apply for a permit:
- Request a verification visit: