Tuesday 20 February 2018

Court orders landlord to hand over keys of €300k Dublin apartment to bank

Ray Managh

A landlord, who came to court with a €10,000 bundle of cash and ignored the advice of a judge to lodge it immediately with his building society, has been ordered to hand the keys of his €300,000 investment apartment back to the bank.

Two weeks ago Brendan Scanlan was told by Judge Jacqueline Linnane that if he had not by today instructed an auctioneer to sell the property she would grant a possession order in favour of ICS Building Society.

Scanlan, and his wife Pamela Gallagher, of Fortfield Park, Terenure, Dublin 6W, had borrowed €300,000 in 2007 to buy the apartment in West Gate, St Augustine Street, Dublin 8 as a rental investment.

Barrister John Donnelly, counsel for the bank, said that when a motion to re-possess the apartment was entered in 2009 when the couple owed €22,000 in repayment arrears. That had since almost quadrupled to €84,000.

On the last occasion he appeared in court Scanlan told the judge he had with him €10,000 in cash which, he alleged, the building society had refused to accept only a day before their court application to re-possess the apartment.

Judge Linnane had told him it was extremely imprudent of him to be carrying around that sort of money in cash and had advised him to lodge it immediately with the bank.

Today when the application again came before the Circuit Civil Court Mr Donnelly said no further repayments had been made and the €10,000 had not been lodged as advised by the court.

Barrister Tony O’Sullivan, counsel for Scanlan, said the last time his client had appeared before the court was as a lay litigant and he had since instructed a solicitor and counsel to deal with the court proceedings.

Mr O’Sullivan asked that both defendants be granted a further adjournment to allow them an opportunity to deal with the matter.

Judge Linnane said that when the application came before her two weeks ago she had warned Mr Scanlan that if he had not instructed an auctioneer with regard to selling the property she was going to make an order for possession.

She said he had failed to adhere to a number of agreements made between himself and the bank and the €10,000 he had brought to court a fortnight earlier had not been lodged to the mortgage account.

Judge Linnane said the apartment was an investment property and she was making an order for possession against both defendants and all in occupation of the property. She granted a stay of three months on the order to enable tenants to find alternative accommodation.

At the earlier hearing Scanlan had told the court he and his wife were renting out the apartment for €750 a month and had agreed to pay the ICS €1,500 a month. Judge Linnane said such a situation was unsustainable and arrears, now at €84,000, were steadily increasing.

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