They purchased the property through an agent here in Puglia who then allegedly organised all the planning for them. The family were very conscientious and had double checked everything with this agent who had assured them everything was legal and above board, but unbeknown to them she hadn't actually bothered to have the paperwork filed or processed.
This led to police arriving at the property one morning, arresting the owner, the property being sequestered and the seasons holiday bookings being cancelled and money refunded.
Fortunately, in court, it appears that the judge must have realised that the owners were genuine people and that they had been clearly misled by the agent and the fine was suspended for 4 years. We now have to work with the commune to help this family finish their dream holiday home with all the necessary paperwork in place or there will be unthinkable consequences.
The agent in question.........
She wasn't even in court, wasn't even charged of any offence because they had ensured that everything was done in such a way that they couldn't be touched if anything happened.
Don't be caught out, make sure everything is double checked before any work starts at your property.