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Czech authorities tell landlord to fix buildings on Přednádraží or be fined

Ostrava, 17.8.2012 20:52, (ROMEA)

Jana Pondělíčková, the spokesperson for the Municipal Department of Moravská Ostrava and Přívoz, says the Building Works Authority has called on the owner of properties on Přednádraží street in Ostrava-Přívoz to rectify the flaws in six particular buildings within 60 days from the date the order is delivered. The flaws concern the buildings' cellars, chimneys and electrical wiring. The owner of the buildings, Oldřich Roztočil, said he has not yet read the order and will not comment on it until he has done so.

The Building Works Authority called on the residents to vacate the properties two weeks ago because they view the buildings as hazardous. More than 100 people, most of them Romani, including many children, are refusing to leave the buildings.

The order defines precisely what work must be done in each apartment of each building. "For example, the electrical wiring and gas lines must be completely reinstalled. Tests have to be done on the tightness of the internal water distribution and sewer lines, the semi-basements must be cleaned of sewage and other garbage, and new lintels have to be built over the doors and windows. The chimneys have to be in working order, access to the balconies has to be closed off, the gutters and windows have to be repaired, as do the loose railings, mold has to be removed, etc.," Pondělíčková said.

The order concerns numbers 8, 10, 12, 13, 15 and 17. Five of these buildings are still occupied, but people moved out of the sixth and are now living in a residential hotel. The six buildings include 74 apartments. "Only four apartments have nothing wrong with them. The common areas of the buildings all need to have this work done," said Pondělíčková, adding that if the landlord does not make the repairs he could face a fine of up to CZK 200 000.

The Building Works Authority is insisting that the people still living on Přednádraží street move out and has requested a court to order their eviction. However, many of the flaws identified by the authorities as the reasons why everyone must go have been repaired in the interim by the Romani tenants themselves.

As for the four other buildings in the ghetto, the Building Works Authority has instructed the owner to demolish building no. 19. He is waiting for the results of a second inspection to decide whether to do so. The owner must also wall up the doors and windows on building no. 11. Buildings no. 4 and 6 are no longer occupied and are in a significantly dilapidated state.

ČTK, František Kostlán, Gwendolyn Albert, František Kostlán, Czech Press Agency, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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