Marc Godart resists application over company’s non-payment of awards to unlawfully evicted tenant

Landlord’s lawyer tells judge there is ‘a certain situation’ regarding the assets of the company concerned

Landlord Marc Godart is resisting an application for his examination in court concerning a company’s failure to pay an unlawfully evicted tenant awards totalling €15,433 made to her by the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB).

During a brief mention on Monday of the High Court proceedings under the Companies Act taken against Mr Godart’s company, Green Label Short Lets, Darragh Haugh BL, for the company, said there is “a certain situation” regarding the company’s assets.

Mr Justice Miriam O’Regan was told that Mr Godart (34), with an address in Luxembourg, was happy to provide a statement of affairs within one week and had filed an affidavit.

On foot of that, Liam Bell BL, instructed by Eoghan McMahon of McGrath Mullen Solicitors, for the applicant, Lizet Pena-Herrera, consented to a two-week adjournment to March 4th of his client’s application to have the directors of the company examined by the court.


In opposing that application, Mr Godart maintains he is the only current director of the company, that his mother Denise was previously a director in name only, is no longer a director and is not in a position to provide information concerning its current financial position.

Mr Godart says he has been open and honest about the current financial standing of the respondent company, which is part of a structure of companies and has a parent company based in Luxembourg, and is unaware what further information he could provide were the court to make an order compelling him to attend for examination about that.

He says the company does not own any assets, acts only as a letting agent and for reasons including the impact on its business by the Covid-19 pandemic, and that its operations have effectively ceased.

The Dublin City Sheriff’s Office was asked last year to collect the debt from the company after the awards were confirmed by Dublin District Court, but the debt remains unpaid. A District Court order of last June covered RTB awards totalling €15,433 and costs of €1,200, plus VAT.

The RTB, which adjudicates on complaints from tenants and landlords, can make findings and instruct that compensation payments be made but has no power to enforce the payment. Affected people can apply to the District Court for orders directing that payment be made. If the payment remains unpaid, the sheriff’s office may be appointed to collect the debt.

Ms Pena-Herrera, a Bolivian national who came to Ireland in 2008 and now works as a psychotherapist and counsellor, is a former tenant of Green Label Short Lets. She entered into a tenancy agreement in December 2020, renting a room for €470 per month at Vintage Court, Cork Street, Dublin 8.

In March 2022, “due to a number of health and safety issues in the dwelling, principally overcrowding”, she made a complaint to Dublin City Council asking that it inspect the Vintage Court premises, according to an affidavit by Ms Pena-Herrera to the District Court last March.

An inspection was carried out on April 6th, 2022. A week later, she was served by the company with a notice to quit her accommodation. In October 2022, the RTB ruled the notice of termination was an act of penalisation by the landlord, was invalid, and Ms Pena-Herrera should be paid €1,000 within 28 days.

Before that, on August 3rd, 2022, just two days after the RTB adjudication hearing and before its determination was issued, Ms Pena-Herrera received a phone call from a person acting for Green Label Short Lets telling her that her belongings had been removed from her room in Vintage Court and put into storage at a facility on Kylemore Road, Dublin 10.

In her affidavit to the District Court, Ms Pena-Herrera said she was made effectively homeless due to the “illegal actions” of the company.

“I suffered severely mentally, professionally and financially because of this and am still now moving from short term let to short term let,” she said.

She made a new complaint to the RTB on August 4th, 2022, which found against the landlord and ordered that she be paid a second award of €14,443. Both debts remain unpaid.

  • See our new project Common Ground, Evolving Islands: Ireland & Britain
  • Sign up for push alerts and have the best news, analysis and comment delivered directly to your phone
  • Find The Irish Times on WhatsApp and stay up to date
  • Our In The News podcast is now published daily – Find the latest episode here
Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan is the Legal Affairs Correspondent of the Irish Times