Four Polish nationals will celebrate Christmas rent-free in the plush accommodation to which they have become accustomed.
Barrister Arthur Cush told Judge John O’Connor in the Circuit Civil Court that the four tenants had not paid a penny of their €2,500 a month rent for just over three years.
Judge O’Connor told one of them: “I don’t believe a word you have said,” when he turned up to make excuses for their having reneged on rent payments on and off since Christmas 2019 and claimed it was all down to Covid.
Marcin Stolarski, Klaudia Moskalweicz, Dorata Simonyan and Gregorz Wrona all signed a tenancy agreement in November 2018 with landlords Emerley59Limited for No 14 Belmayne Avenue, Belmayne, Balgriffin, Dublin 13.
Mr Cush, who appeared with Conor Newman of one of Dublin’s leading commercial solicitors, Barry O’Donnell and Company, said they owed arrears of €70,750.
Their indebtedness with legal costs now exceeds €100,000, but even with judgements against them, the recovery of any of the sum is highly unlikely.
Mr Cush said that although Emerley59 had been granted a determination by the Residential Tenancies Board in September 2021, ordering them to vacate the premises within 14 days, they had appealed it to the District Court on grounds that were entirely untrue and now again to the Circuit Court.
Chris Guckian, a director of Emerley59 of Merchant’s Quay, Dublin 8, told the court his company was seeking to enforce the Board’s determination order on the basis that the appeals had been frivolous, vexatious and bound to fail and had been brought purely as a delaying tactic.
When Marcin Stolarski, the only one of the tenants to attend court, said the arrears had arisen solely because of Covid, Judge O’Connor said he did not believe a word he had said and added that they had effectively used the courts to their own advantage.
He said they had not attended the Tenancies Board hearing or the District Court hearing and had not even lodged an affidavit explaining their situation.
Judge O’Connor said he was refusing their appeal to his court and would affirm both the orders of the Tenancies Board and the District Court directing they vacate the premises within 14 days.
He said that due to the time of year he would grant a stay on the order to vacate for two months allowing them make alternative accommodation arrangements by mid-February.
The four tenants owed €70,750 arrears leading up to the final appeal. By the time they have to move out they will be in debt to Emerley59 by just short of €80,000 for arrears and the payment of extensive legal costs of the landlord in recovering the property and which were ordered against them.