Sunday 20 January 2019

High Court continues injunction against Dublin property owners who allegedly forcibly removed tenants

Protesters outside the apartment building in Mountjoy Square
Protesters outside the apartment building in Mountjoy Square

Aodhan O'Faolain

The High Court has continued an injunction against the owners of several Dublin properties who allegedly forcibly removed tenants from one of their premises.

On Wednesday, receiver Ken Fennell secured a temporary injunction against Paul Howard and Una McClean preventing them from interfering with the properties including several apartments in Mountjoy Square in  Dublin, and properties at Harold's Cross, and Kilnamanagh, Dublin 24.

The order prevents the defendants, their agents and all persons with knowledge of the injunction from trespassing, damaging, and collecting rent from the tenants living in the properties.

The injunction also requires the defendants to hand over possession of all the properties to the receiver, and the prevents them from interfering with the receivership.

Mr Fennell was appointed receiver over the properties last month by Promontoria (Oyster) DAC.

He sought the injunction over concerns for the safety and welfare of those renting the accommodation, particularly following reports last weekend that tenants were forcibly removed from one of the apartments at Mountjoy Square.

He was also concerned about ongoing interference and deliberate attempts to thwart the receivership, the state of some of the premises.

When the matter returned before the High Court on Friday Ms Justice Caroline Costello agreed to continue the orders and adjourned the matter to February 13.

Solicitor Mr Maurice Lyons said he had taken instructions from the defendants, but due to a conflict of interest was unable to formally represent them.

Another lawyer would have to represent the defendants, who were not present in court.

Mr Lyons said defendants were giving undertakings to agree to abide by the injunctions and would also hand over any rent that may have been collected following the making of the order to the receiver. 

The judge also granted the receiver permission to bring a motion for attachment and committal to prison against the defendants for alleged contempt of court.

Counsel for the receiver said that hopefully there would be no need to advance that particular application, given the undertakings  given by the defendants.

Previously the court heard that in 2016 Promontoria acquired loans advanced by First Active to Mr Howard and Ms McClean, with an address at Larkfield Avenue, Harold's Cross, Dublin.

It claims Mr Howard and Ms McClean jointly owe the fund €1.4m while Mr Howard owes an additional €400,000.

Talks between the parties over the debts had not been successful, and the receiver was appointed.

In correspondence with the receiver Mr Howard disputes the validity of the receivership.

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