A furniture business has secured an interim High Court injunction over its alleged eviction from a Dublin warehouse after it was unable to pay rent this month due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Hugh O'Flaherty, instructed by solicitors Sherwin O'Riordan, for Design Features Ltd, argued that under its lease for the premises and the emergency measures introduced by the Government in response to the Covid-19 crisis the alleged eviction was not permissible.
Mr Justice Richard Humphreys on Thursday granted the plaintiff interim orders against Goldstein Property ICAV, Goldstein Property Fund 1 and Quanta Capital Investments Ltd directing them to provide the plaintiff with access to the warehouse, located at Unit 5, Finches Business Park, Long Mile Road, Dublin.
The orders were sought on an ex parte (one side only represented) basis, and the judge returned the matter to early May.
Mr O’Flaherty said the first two defendants were property funds with a registered place of business at Harcourt Street, Dublin, and the third defendant was a company with a registered place of business at Molesworth Street, Dublin, which manages the warehouse property.
He said his client, based at the EP Mooney Centre, Long Mile Road, and has traded from there for some 22 years, used the Unit 5 property as a warehouse for storage of stock for its store and its online business, and had a five-year lease in that regard, dating from December 2018.
He said the rent and all other obligations under the lease were up to date to the end of March, but as a result of the Covid-19 crisis and the restrictions introduced by the Government his client had to cease trading towards the end of March, and had advised the defendants it could not pay rent for April.
He said the warehouse was in a business park which was accessed electronically but his side had been unable to get access since April 9th. There was correspondence with the defendants, who maintained there was access.
The company needed access because it had stock arriving from abroad which it needed to store in the warehouse, it was stated in court documents.
Mr O’Flaherty said his side’s case was that the prevention of access amounted to unlawful eviction, and the defendants were in breach of the lease and the Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Act 2020, which included a provision against evictions for the emergency period.