Landlord denies threatening to change locks at Dublin language school in rent dispute

Late last week Liffey College's director Mr Haseeb Ahmed secured a temporary High Court injunction against Paul and Gerard Dormer.
Landlord denies threatening to change locks at Dublin language school in rent dispute

High court reporters

A landlord of a Dublin-based premises that houses a language school with over 600 students has strongly denied before the High Court that he ever threatened to change the building's locks.

Late last week Liffey College's director Mr Haseeb Ahmed secured a temporary High Court injunction against Paul and Gerard Dormer.

They are the owners of the premises at the Maltings Business Park, Marrowbone Lane, near Cork Street in Dublin 8 from where the school operates.

Mr Ahmed sought the injunction over fears that due to a dispute over rent the landlords intended to change the building's locks.

Such a move would have prevented the students, the bulk of whom are from overseas, and staff from accessing the school.

Undertaking

When the matter returned before the High Court on Tuesday, Mr Justice Senan Allen was told by one of the landlords, Mr Paul Dormer, that he was prepared to give an undertaking to the court not to change the locks.

Representing himself in the proceedings Mr Dormer added that he had never threatened to change the locks on the building.

He said that an email had been sent on the landlord's behalf to the defendant late last week confirming that the locks would not be changed.

Represented by Ronnie Hudson Bl, Mr Ahmed said the school leased the first floor and the attic of the premises for an annual rent of €160,000.

Arrears

Arrears of rent had built up, but the applicant claims that the arrears are being dealt with.

Mr Ahmed claims that issues had arisen after he was informed that the premises was placed into receivership.

The landlords dispute the validity of the receivership and have begun Commercial Court proceedings over the matter. As a result of that dispute, Mr Ahmed said the college has put rental money and the arrears into his solicitors account pending the outcome of that case.

Counsel said that the landlords were not happy with this position, and it is their case that the landlords had threatened to change the locks.

This had resulted in the application for a temporary injunction.

On Monday Mr Dormer accepted that Commercial Court proceedings had been brought challenging the validity of the receivership.

Judgment in that case is awaited, he said.

However, he said that substantial arrears of rent, some €80,000, had built up with the school.

He said no threat was made to change the locks, and that while he was happy to give the undertaking, he did not see why he should have to pay legal costs incurred by Mr Ahmed for seeking the injunction.

Mr Justice Allen in adjourning the matter, accepted the undertaking offered by the defendants in place of the temporary injunction.

The judge said that it was not possible at this stage to make any ruling in regard to the legal costs of the matter.

​The judge reserved the issue of costs to a later stage in the proceedings.

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