Czech Republic: Residential hotel owner fined CZK 550 000 over shocking conditions
Pavel Mirga, the operator of a troubled residential hotel on Dluhonská Street in Přerov, has been fined CZK 550 00 (EUR 20 000) because his residential hotel facility was never properly registered. Kamila Navrátilová, spokesperson for the Regional Authority, told the Czech News Agency that the decision has yet to take effect and could be appealed.
At the time of the fine, the neglected residential hotel, located right next to a chemical factory, was housing roughly 40 people who had gradually been moved there from treatment facilities for the chronically ill from all over the country. After Czech Senator Jitka Seitlová drew attention to their dismal situation at the start of the year, all of the clients were moved into retirement homes in their places of permanent residence and their living conditions significantly improved.
"The Regional Authority has issued a decision fining the person who operates the residential hotel in Přerov CZK 550 000. The fine was issued because he was providing social services without the appropriate authorization, i.e., registration," Navrátilová said.
The 40 clients, most of whom have amputated limbs or colostomy bags, were successfully relocated by social workers during less than a month's time. The last people with disabilities still at the residential hotel moved out at the beginning of March.
The large-scale move occurred after Mirga announced he would not be extending his tenants' contracts as of 28 February. He did so in response to the fact that the Regional Authority had begun administrative proceedings against him.
Police officers are also taking an interest in the residential hotel and investigating criminal reports filed against it. The Czech News Agency reports that clients paid CZK 7 000 a month to the facility for accommodations and another CZK 3 500 a month for meals.
These prices were charged per person irrespective of how many people were accommodated in one room. Up to five people were housed in each room.
At the end of January 2015 there were 88 people living in the residential hotel, half of them with disabilities. Mirga is in debt and had once filed for bankruptcy in 2012.
The Czech News Agency reports that Mirga has never paid any of the previous fines levied against him by the authorities. He ultimately cancelled his bankruptcy proceedings and is still the owner of the residential hotel and an adjacent plot of land.
Land Registry records show that Mirga has faced several collections procedures and there is a lien on the residential hotel. He can avoid its being auctioned off if he pays his debts or offers another property as collateral.
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