, ROME, Feb 2 – An apartment with a view of the Roman Forum for less than 25 euros a month? Not for much longer as Rome has been ordered to clean up the mismanagement of city-owned property.
A study of the neighbourhoods near the centre of the Italian capital revealed that 574 apartments belonging to the city have been rented at below market prices, and in some cases for ridiculous sums.
An order to rectify the situation came from the city’s temporary manager, Francesco Paolo Tronca, who was handed the assignment after Rome mayor Ignazio Marino resigned in November, the city said in a statement Tuesday.
Marino was one of the most unpopular politicians in Italy, facing mounting public anger over litter-strewn and pot-holed streets, a failing public transport system and revelations of mafia infiltration of the municipal authority.
Until new elections are held in June, Tronca is managing the city and discovering some examples of gross negligence in rental property.
The list includes an apartment near the Vatican with a monthly rent of 10.29 euros (11 dollars), while another overlooking the historic ruins of the Roman Forum goes for 23.36 euros and one on the road of the Coliseum pays 25.64 euros, the city’s communique said.
According to Italian media, the renters, mostly middle class and not eligible for social housing, pay these meager sums because simply no one has ever bothered to raise them.
The city has announced that from now on it would make sure that rents are in line with market rates and cancel the lease in cases where the legal renter has covertly sublet the apartment.