Feuding sisters face selling home for half original value
A HOUSE which led to a serious family split between sisters may go on the market soon for €350,000 -- less than half its market value five years ago.
Barrister Cathal Murphy told the Circuit Civil Court that Noel Goulding, who died in August 2006, had willed his Dublin home to his four daughters: Martina O'Reilly; Brid Slator; Mary French and Frances O'Connor.
Mr Murphy said Ms O'Reilly and Ms Slator had been appointed to handle the sale and division of proceeds equally among the four sisters.
Declan Wade, counsel for the third sister, Ms French, said she and her husband William still lived at the old family home at 29 St Columba's Road Upper in Drumcondra, and the fourth sister, Ms O'Connor, lived in Florida in the US.
He said Ms O'Connor, who was not a party to yesterday's case, had swapped her share of the family home with Mary and William French for two land sites the Frenchs owned in Florida.
Judge Joseph Mathews heard that differences had arisen between Ms O'Reilly, of 15 The Drive, Cypress Downs, Templeogue, Ms Slator, of 26 Columba's Road Lower, Drumcondra, and their sister, Mary, who had been living rent-free in the house.
Mr Wade said that in 2009, before property prices had dipped to their current low, Mr and Mrs French had offered to buy the house from their father's estate for €445,000 and to settle the issue of outstanding rent.
They claimed their offer had not only been refused but had been met with a civil bill seeking possession of the property and two years' rent of €2,000 a month totalling €48,000.
Mr Murphy told the court it was the duty of his clients, Ms O'Reilly and Ms Slator, as executrices of the will, to settle up their father's estate through the sale of the house and recovery of rent. They sought a court order for possession against their sister and judgment for outstanding rent.
Judge Mathews said 2006 property prices -- which valued the house at €850,000 -- represented almost a different age considering what had happened since to property values.
He had heard valuation experts on behalf of both parties value outstanding rental at between €1,700 a month and €1,200 a month and said the court determined outstanding monthly rent to be €1,400 totalling €33,600.
Judge Mathews said the family disagreement was unfortunate and granted possession of the house with a stay until June 30 next to allow the Frenchs an opportunity to raise finance and make a new offer.