What is the CDU Urban Destination Certificate?


Commonly referred to as the Urban Destination Certificate (CDU), this document summarizes relevant data concerning a piece of land. Specifically, it indicates:

  • Cadastral references (sheet and particle).
  • Urban destination.
  • Certain urban planning parameters (such as buildability index, slope instability index, flood susceptibility index).
  • In case of existence, indication of constraints on the property (such as landscape or hydrogeological constraints).

In essence, it is an administrative document that certifies the urban destination of the property based on local and regional regulatory plans.


It must be requested through telematic means or by submitting a specific request to the designated municipal office, by the landowner or co-owner. It is also possible for a third party to submit the request, provided they include, along with the required documents, a proxy, and copies of the identification documents of both the proxy and the owner.

The CDU will then be issued by the technical office of the municipality where the land is located, certifying the urban category (agricultural or buildable) of the land parcel for which the request was made.

Along with the application, it will be necessary to submit:

  • A copy of the applicant’s identification document (in the case of a proxy, along with that of the grantor and the proxy itself).
  • Cadastral data of the property for which the CDU is requested (municipality, province, sheet, and particle).

Finally, it should be considered that issuance is not immediate: the law stipulates that it must be issued within 30 days of the request being submitted.


Because it attests to the current status of the property based on local and regional regulatory plans, its validity is limited: typically, it is valid for one year from the date of issuance. However, if there have been changes to local urban planning instruments, a new updated certificate must be requested.

The CDU certifies the urban destination that the land has at the time of its issuance and not at a later time. Once issued, it does not bind the municipality to maintain the same urban destination it has certified. From this perspective, the notary handling the sale will know when it is best to request the certificate during negotiations to ensure that the request and expenses incurred in obtaining the CDU are not in vain. In general, it is preferable for the issuance date to be close to the signing of the deed.

However, if the deed of sale of the land is signed after a certain period from the issuance of the CDU but still within a year from that date, in addition to the obligation to attach the CDU, there would also be the obligation for the seller to declare that no modifications to the urban planning instruments concerning the land subject to the contract have occurred in the meantime.


With Article 30 of Legislative Decree no. 380/2001 (the so-called Building Code), the legislator introduced the obligation to attach the Urban Destination Certificate in the case of transfers of ownership of property rights concerning land.

The provision indeed states that deeds transferring ownership rights or other types related to land are null and cannot be concluded or transcribed without attaching the CDU containing the urban planning provisions regarding the area in question. In addition to this prohibition and the provision of nullity of the deed, however, the regulations provide for a significant exception for the case where the land is nothing more than an accessory of a building. In particular, it is provided that the attachment of the CDU is not necessary when the land constitutes an accessory of buildings, provided that the total area of this accessory area is less than 5.000 square meters.


It is evident, therefore, why the Urban Destination Certificate is among the documents required by law in the case of land sales: it is thanks to this document that it is clearly evident which regulations apply to the sold property and what rights and duties will fall on the new owner (such as the prohibition of building in the case of agricultural land). Indeed, this document provides a detailed overview of the building potential, as well as any related issues with the land (such as existing constraints). The goal of the document is, therefore, to prevent abuses in the use – and particularly in the sale – of the land, informing the buyer about any limitations and/or the possibility of building.


It has been seen that in the case of land sales, the law requires a specific obligation to attach the CDU; however, this is not the only scenario where such a provision exists. Indeed, this obligation applies to every act (between living parties) of establishment or dissolution of common real rights and the transfer of these rights, whether for consideration (as in the case of dividing the land among the various co-owners according to their ownership shares) or for free (such as in the case of donation or granting enjoyment of land).

In summary, it is therefore possible to say that attaching the CDU is necessary, under penalty of nullity of the act, in the following three scenarios:

  • In cases where the deed pertains to a public deed of sale, division, or donation, concerning land of any size that is not an accessory to a building;
  • In the same scenarios as the previous point, when the deed pertains to land that is an accessory to a building recorded in the cadastre but has an area exceeding five thousand square meters;


Unlike the cases just examined, attaching the CDU is not required in cases of:

  • Divisions concerning inheritance assets;
  • Donations between spouses and relatives in the direct line;
  • Testamentary dispositions (so-called acts mortis causa);
  • Conclusion of deeds aimed at establishing, modifying, or extinguishing real rights of guarantee and servitude.

It is specified that, although the legislation does not apply in the aforementioned cases, it is customary to attach the CDU nonetheless (although, it is reiterated, this is not expressly required by law).

It is advisable, therefore, when intending to conclude a deed concerning land, to seek advice from an expert Lawyer to determine whether the attachment of the Urban Destination Certificate is necessary.