The court said the Dublin pub’s rent arrears amounted to €717,000

The landlords of a pub in Dublin’s Temple Bar are seeking a judgment of up to €717,000 against the tenant for rent arrears, the High Court has heard.

Onsdorf Investments ICAV and John Bennett, landlord of the former Front Lounge, now Street 66, are seeking the arrears against tenant Fenway Inns and three of his supporters, Joseph Dunne, Thomas McCormack and Declan Mehigan, who were guarantors under the original lease.

Fenway and the three personal defendants deny that the guarantee binds them, having been automatically released from it in 2009 when Fenway’s net asset value exceeded €750,000.

The court heard that in 1995 Fenway had taken out a 35-year lease for the premises on Parliament Street, Dublin, which began at an annual rent of €122,500 but increased to €270,000, according to rental reports.

In 2011, a rent reduction agreement was reached whereby the €270,000 was reduced to €220,000 by 2015 and would then revert to the higher amount if the landlords gave notice.

A sublease for the new operators of the premises was secured in 2017, when the landlords agreed that the rent would remain at €220,000.

The already growing arrears totaled around €345,000 at the time the landlords filed suit and now totals €717,000, Stephen Brady BL told the Landlords’ Court.

Mr Brady said the court was open to a judgment of the entire €717,000 or less, with the dispute over the difference going to a full hearing.

Tim Harnedy BL, for the defendants, said it was up to the landlords to show that the warranty waiver was triggered automatically in 2009, but they had not done so. This matter should go to the plenary hearing, he said.

As for Fenway himself, there was no such defense, Mr. Harnedy said. With the sublease agreement in 2017, however, it had to be checked that the rent would be at the lower value of 220,000 euros by July of this year.

Mrs. Judge Niamh Hyland reserves her decision. The court said the Dublin pub’s rent arrears amounted to €717,000

Fry Electronics Team

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