Portland, landlord agree on Dartmouth Street building repairs

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PORTLAND — A consent order agreed to Monday by landlord Gregory Nisbet gives him until March 16 to make repairs and improvements to the apartment building he owns at 186-192 Dartmouth St.

The order, approved in Portland District Court, requires Nisbet to immediately clean up garbage, remove interior door locks, install a sprinkler head over a basement boiler, and ensure all smoke alarms “are functioning, maintained and in place.”

Nisbet also has until March 16 to make repairs to electrical systems and have them certified by a licensed master electrician. He was also ordered to ensure the 186 Dartmouth side of the house is rented as a two-family dwelling and not a boarding house, as defined by the National Fire Protection Association.

The 188 Dartmouth side was vacated last month in a consent agreement with 10 tenants. Nisbet will need city permission to rent that side of the building again, and must improve heating and plumbing before seeking approval.

He must also implement background checks on future tenants of the entire property and provide a list of tenants at 186 Dartmouth St. to the city.

City inspectors first cited Nisbet for violations at 188 Dartmouth St. after a Dec. 15, 2014, inspection prompted by complaints from residents. Two days later, he was given 32 days to clean up garbage and correct code violations. Nisbet filed eviction notices against the tenants four days after the city inspection.

When the ordered repairs were not made, city officials filed a land use complaint in District Court on Feb. 9.

Nisbet is also the owner of the building at 20-24 Noyes St. that burned Nov. 1, 2014. The fire killed six people. The State Fire Marshal’s Office determined the cause was accidental, but forwarded its report to Cumberland County District Attorney Stephanie Anderson for further investigation.

Nisbet also faces four wrongful-death lawsuits filed by relatives of people who died in the fire.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or dharry@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

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Portland City Hall reporter for The Forecaster. Baltimore native, lived in Maine since 1989. A journalist since 2005, covering much of Cumberland and York counties. I joined The Forecaster in 2012.