• Pittsburgh landlord fined $730K for code violations


    None - PITTSBURGH -- A district court judge imposed a $730,000 fine on a Pittsburgh landlord for serious code violations.

     Judge Gene Ricciardi issued the fine to the owner of a building on Centre Avenue in Oakland. Ricciardi said Sophia Edgos has owned the apartment building since 1979 and has been an uncooperative landlord.

     "It went on since 2006. She is uncooperative and wouldn't take responsibility for her building," said Ricciardi. "This fine is steep, but justified in this case."

     City inspectors filed a criminal complaint, finding ten violations:

     $200,000 for lack of illuminated exit signs

    $200,000 for lack of smoke alarms

    $60,000 for trash and debris

    $50,000 for problems with handrails

    $50,000 for foundation cracks

    $50,000 for window and door frames

    $20,000 for deteriorating chimneys

    And $100,000 for failing to provide an engineering inspection report

     "Those tenants are at great risk. Absentee landlords cause blight with neighbors. They're responsible for their structure and safety," Ricciardi said.

     The owner has 30 days to pay the fine, set up a payment plan or appeal her case to common pleas court.

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