Landlords must pay for eyesores

Landlords in apartment blocks who carry out illegal extensions to their flats or occupy communal ground during building work can be forced to compensate other residents, under an appeals court decision made public yesterday. Rejecting a lower court’s ruling, the decision stipulated that 10 residents of an Athens block of flats who had sued a fellow-landlord for illegal extensions to her apartment were entitled to 1,500 euros in damages from the woman. Appeals court judges found that the plaintiffs deserved compensation for the «feelings of indignation, concern and fear for their safety» caused by the woman’s behavior, according to yesterday’s Ethnos newspaper. The court also ordered the removal of the illegal extensions. This sets a precedent for any extension or addition (windows, air-conditioning units, solar-heating panels or chimneys) unauthorized by the apartment block’s regulations, or that adversely affect the building’s appearance.