Man fails to stop receiver from taking over Luigi’s, Ranelagh

Court hears details of financial relationship between father and son

Luigi’s on the Ranelagh Road in Dublin.

Luigi’s on the Ranelagh Road in Dublin.

 

A man has failed to get court orders preventing a receiver taking possession of a fish and chip shop in Ranelagh, Dublin.

The High Court dismissed claims the receiver could not take possession on foot of an unpaid mortgage taken out on it by the man’s father.

Daniel Sacco (37), who has since changed his surname by deed poll to Boylan because of a falling out with his father over money, was not entitled to assert ownership rights over Luigi’s Takeaway on the Ranelagh Road, Mr Justice Michael Twomey ruled.

A £153,000 (€194,000) payment made to his father, Luigi, in 1998 was not for the purchase of the building but for 10 years’ advance rent, the judge said.

Daniel, therefore, did not have an ownership interest which took priority over the possession claim by receiver Ken Fennell, appointed by KBC Bank over an outstanding mortgage to Luigi Sacco of some €1 million, he said.

Daniel claimed he paid his father £173,000 in 1998,including £20,000 for a fit-out of the building, which includes two apartments, the judge said.

The money came from £417,000 compensation Daniel received in 1998 over a car accident in which he lost a leg at age 12.

Daniel claimed he was “robbed” of the money by his father and had nothing to show for the accident which befell him when he was young, the judge said.

Investments

Daniel had said most of the compensation money was consumed by certain investment dealings by his father, including purchase and upgrade of the takeaway and an investment of £200,000 in a restaurant in Dame Street in Dublin, which came to nothing.

While Daniel ran the takeaway himself between 1998 and 2004, he then became a property developer and said he leased it to another party to run.

In 2014, KBC Bank appointed a receiver over the premises arising out of his father’s failure to repay the mortgage.

Mr Justice Twomey said, on the balance of probabilities, Daniel orally agreed, or signed, a 35-year lease with his father in 1998 and paid him £153,000 on account of future rent. He did not agree to acquire an ownership interest, nor did he sign a deed of transfer in relation to the property.

This would explain why in 2008, some 10 years later, Daniel signed a lease for 25 years. The fact he registered the business name “Luigi’s Takeaway” in his name in 1998, and paid rates on the property, was also consistent with the court’s conclusion on ownership, the judge said.

Arising from his decision, the judge said it was clear Daniel wrongfully collected rents from the apartments which were due to the receiver since his appointment in February 2014.

Having taken into account Daniel’s claim he had to dispose of €4,000 worth of perishable stock when the receiver took over the premises, he ordered him to pay the receiver €60,000 for the rents he had collected.