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Owner of Banksy mural flats says he won't to put up rent - but could be tempted to sell

Owner of Banksy mural flats says he won't to put up rent - but could be tempted to sell

The owner of the block of flats on which Banksy painted his latest mural has said he does not plan to raise the rent but would potentially sell.

Several residents in the building, in Finsbury Park, north London, said they were worried their rent would be hiked now that Banksy has confirmed the tree painting which appeared over the weekend was his.

But owner Alex Georgiou has reassured tenants he will not be changing their rent rates.

The 40-year-old told MailOnline: “I was having a bit of a laugh with the girls who were saying I was gonna put the rent up 250 per cent but no no. I doubt it.

“Unless we have a massive Banksy fan who is prepared to pay over the odds. But a property is worth what a property is worth.

“You know what, if somebody offered me millions and they can have the building and take the flats with it. Feel free.

“They can come knocking if they want. Give me a number in an envelope and whoever has the biggest number can have it.”

The artwork appeared on the wall on Sunday (Ella Nunn/PA Wire)
The artwork appeared on the wall on Sunday (Ella Nunn/PA Wire)

He went on to say he does not know how he is supposed to protect the artwork because it is “the whole size of the building”.

The estate agent also said he wants to keep the painting where it is to “let people enjoy it”.

Mr Georgiou bought the block in 2012 for £400,00 and claims it would be worth around £1.3 million.

Banksy officially claimed the piece on Monday, after it appeared on the wall on Sunday and triggered rife speculation.

Residents said they were "proud and delighted" at the thought of the elusive artist choosing their street for his latest mural.

Wanja Sellers, a Hornsey Road resident who lives a few doors down from the mural, said: "We're so proud and delighted that Banksy chose our road and chose Finsbury Park for his work.

"The bright green colours represent Islington, which is lovely, and also, of course, St Patrick's Day, which is nice and festive.

"Choosing the colours of our borough just makes it feel like a personal message to us residents. We just feel so proud."