Former tenants launch campaign to take down rogue landlord Mark Fortune

They aim to present findings to the council and police.

Mark Fortune at the Sherrif Court. Picture: Jayne Wright
Mark Fortune at the Sherrif Court. Picture: Jayne Wright

A group of former tenants of notorious rogue landlord Mark Fortune have launched a campaign to prevent him from operating in the city.

Mr Fortune was barred from renting by Edinburgh City Council in 2013, but is facing claims that he is exploiting legal loopholes to continue operating short term lets.

The campaigners, who are investigating whether Mr Fortune is back in business, aim to collect evidence of his alleged renting amid claims of mistreatment of tenants and poor conditions of rental properties using a Facebook group and online survey.

The findings will then be presented to Edinburgh City Council and Police Scotland.

Omer Ahmed, 25, who set up the campaign, claimed he was threatened by Mr Fortune and lost his deposit to the Ferrari-driving businessman.

The structural engineering student tried reporting Mr Fortune to both police and the council but said he got nowhere.

“I had a pretty bad experience with him,” he said.

“I rented from him for six months and during the whole time he threatened me and other people as well.

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“The guy should be barred from letting these houses to other people, that’s what we want to achieve.”

Mr Fortune became the first landlord to be struck of Edinburgh City Council’s register in 2013.

It came after he was fined £650 for threatening tenants of a property in Lonsdale Terrace after they confronted him over a £160 repair bill.

Jaime Finn, 28, a tenant staying in the flat at the time, said of Mr Fortune: “He threatened everybody in the flat.”

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Mr Fortune disputed the claims of Mr Finn and insisted he had never been convicted of any offence against him, adding that he had been in arrears on his rent and that an eviction order against him in 2010 had been granted.

Mr Ahmed explained the method of his new campaign on the Facebook page he set up, entitled “Mark Fortune Investigation.”

“We are compiling an extensive amount of personal accounts of (ex) tenants, neighbours etc who have interacted with him,” he said.

“The investigation is only in it’s preliminary stages, yet we are left shocked by the recurring patterns in responses.

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“It is becoming increasingly clear exactly which system he uses and the tools he deploys whilst doing so.

“We will present our findings to the council and police, so that they have concrete evidence of systematic exploitation.

“Then we will raise demands that they impose further restrictions on his operations and continuously monitor them.”

Mr Ahmed also alleges that Mr Fortune had breached regulations governing the return of deposits.

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The Evening News attempted to contact Mr Fortune for comment.

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