Czech municipality says evictions are landlord's responsibility
The Building Works Authority of the Central Municipal Department of Moravská Ostrava and Přívoz in the town of Ostrava is not insisting on seeking a court-ordered eviction of the residents in the ghetto on Přednádraží street. Jana Pondělíčková, spokesperson for the municipality, told the Czech Press Agency today that the municipality will wait and see how Oldřich Roztočil, the owner of the properties concerned, responds to the fine of CZK 30 000 levied against him by the court for his failure to respect the authority's ruling that his properties should be vacated.
Pondělíčková said the authorities still believe the more than 100 people, including children, who are still living in the buildings should move out, but says the landlord is responsible for ensuring they do so. "The landlord must pay the fine within three days from the date on which the court verdict takes effect. However, even if he does pay the fine, it does not mean he will be absolved of his responsibility to see to it that the premises are vacated," Pondělíčková said.
The municipal department spokesperson added that the Building Works Authority will verify whether the buildings have been vacated once the deadline expires. "If they have not been vacated, the Building Works Authority will take further steps," she said, but refused to specify what those steps might be at this time.
The authorities originally requested a court order to evict residents from the properties concerned. In the end, however, it turned out that the motion it filed with the District Court in Ostrava could not result in such evictions. "The motion filed was against the Domy Přednádraží s.r.o. company. No motion was filed with the court for a decision on ordering evictions," said court spokesperson Alexandr Dadam last week, explaining that the court could not rule on evictions when no such motion had been submitted. The motion reviewed by the court essentially demanded that property belonging to the Domy Přednádraží s.r.o. company be removed from the premises. The Building Works Authority eventually withdrew its motion but has not yet admitted to having filed it in error.
More than 100 people are still living in the locality. The Building Works Authority has instructed them to vacate the premises and has repeatedly called on the residents, most of whom are Romani, to leave the locality altogether. The Building Works Authority considers continued occupancy of the buildings to be life-threatening.
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