Businessman Jerry Beades has lost appeals relating to two Dublin properties of which he is the registered owner, but which were made subject to possession orders in 2008.
Two people who claimed to be resident in the properties also lost their separate appeal over High Court order of November 25th last requiring the immediate surrender of possession and control of the properties to Pepper Finance Corporation DAC.
The Court of Appeal delivered three further judgments on Thursday in what Mr Justice Donald Binchy described, in one of the judgments, as “yet another chapter in a litigation saga dating as far back as June 23rd 2008” when the High Court made orders directing Mr Beades to deliver up possession of the properties at 31 Richmond Avenue, Fairview, and 21 Little Mary Street, Dublin 2.
Previously, the COA rejected a bid by some 20 people who had lived for several years in the properties to overturn the High Court’s November 2020 order, granted to Pepper, requiring “persons unknown” to leave the properties.
Mr Beades is the registered owner, but not an occupant, of the two mortgaged properties, both made subject of High Court possession orders in 2008, affirmed by the Supreme Court in 2014.
The possession orders arose from default on loans made by IIB Bank and which were sold, respectively, to KBC Bank, Beltany Property Finance and then to Pepper.
Pepper claimed some €2.3m is outstanding on the loans and, as a result of the possession orders, the occupants, including a number of Romanian nationals and two young children, could not rely on lease or rental agreements between them and Mr Beades.
While some occupants claimed to have paid rent over years to Mr Beades, there was no evidence, since the possession orders were made, Mr Beades has paid rent to anyone, including Pepper, the High Court was previously told.
The COA previously held no basis had been shown by the occupants to justify the court granting the necessary extension of time to appeal the November 2020 order.
It also held the central claim by the occupants to have valid tenancies on foot of agreements or leases between them and Mr Beades was not arguable. Mr Beades had no entitlement to create rental leases or tenancies with occupants from at least 2008 when Pepper obtained a possession order for the properties, it held.
High Court ruling
Mr Beades appealed to the COA against the judgment and orders of the High Court of November 2020. He argued, inter alia, the High Court had no jurisdiction to deal with Pepper’s applications and had erred in not permitting him to address the court.
In a judgment on Thursday, Ms Justice Máire Whelan, on behalf of the three judge COA, rejected grounds of appeal.
In a separate judgment on behalf of the COA, Mr Justice Donald Binchy dismissed an appeal in which Mr Beades argued, inter alia, the High Court erred in finding Pepper had met the threshold of proof required to establish, on the balance of probabilities, it had taken a transfer from Beltany Property Finance in the proceedings.
In a third judgment, Ms Justice Una N Raifeartaigh dismissed an appeal by Gabriel Petrut and Margaret Hanrahan, said to be residents respectively of 31 Richmond Avenue and 21 Little Mary Street, over the November 2020 High Court orders requiring those on the premises to leave.
She held, in all the circumstances, the trial judge was not in error in proceeding to hear the case in the absence of the two appellants. Neither appellant had put forward any evidence in support of their claims they were not properly informed the application was a physical, not a remote, hearing as noted on the courts website, she said.