A LANDLORD who has held up the demolition of a decaying housing block in north Edinburgh is set to be forced out after a five-year battle.
Martino Mangeniello has been resisting attempts by city housing chiefs to buy the flat he rents out in Muirhouse Avenue – despite all the other residents in the block of 15 moving on.
He is also the last man standing of 655 households in Muirhouse and Pennywell which are being flattened and replaced with new homes.
The 33-year-old previously said he bought the apartment before the building was condemned in November 2006, but council chiefs insisted it was in fact after the decision had been taken.
The city council is now set to serve a compulsory purchase order (CPO), which means it can force the sale of the property and begin knocking the building down.
Mr Mangeniello, who lives in Canonmills and rents the property to tenants, told the Evening News last year that he bought the flat for £92,000 but that the local authority was only offering him £72,000 to leave. He was unavailable to comment on the latest development.
Housing leader Cammy Day said the offer merely represented the amount the flat would sell for on the open market. He also highlighted the fact that Mr Mangeniello would be paid a further ten per cent – or £7200 – in compensation and have his legal fees met.
The redevelopment of Pennywell and Muirhouse is part of the £170 million 21st Century Homes project which aims to deliver more than 1400 new homes for rent and sale.
Mr Day said: “A compulstory purchase order is the last option we have. We have had the property valued and have offered him the market rate.”
Housing officials have asked councillors to back the CPO – with a decision due today – which would allow them to buy Mr Mangeniello’s flat in January.