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Landlord behind Dublin eviction borrowed heavily since 2015

Loan charges of more than €1.5m registered against Paul Howard’s rental properties

Land Registry and Registry of Deeds records show loan charges totalling more than €1.5 million were registered against properties owned or co-owned by Paul Howard. Photograph: Padraig O’Reilly

Businessman Paul Howard, the landlord at the centre of an eviction row with tenants at an apartment on Mountjoy Square in Dublin, had a succession of loan charges registered against his properties in recent years.

Land Registry and Registry of Deeds records show loan charges totalling more than €1.5 million were registered against properties owned or co-owned by Mr Howard on Mountjoy Square or on Talbot Street in Dublin’s north inner city or in Harold’s Cross on the southside of Dublin where the 46-year-old landlord lives.

The records suggest the loans were provided ahead of Mr Howard’s purchase of a property on Larkfield Park in Harolds Cross for €328,000 in 2016.

Most of the charges, amounting to more than €1.2 million, were registered between February and May 2015 in favour of “Mary McClean” whose address is listed on documents at Larkfield Park, Harold’s Cross, and at 60 Talbot Street, Dublin 1. Mr Howard lives in Larkfield Avenue with his partner Una McClean.

Tenants have left cash rent due on Mountjoy Square at his launderette, Clean City, at 60 Talbot Street. One of the charges, for €300,000, is registered in Mary McClean’s favour against an apartment at that address.

Three-storey unit

On two charges, totalling €500,000, her address is listed as “c/o Una McClean” at a house on Larkfield Park and an adjoining property. Mr Howard unsuccessfully applied to build a three-storey unit behind the properties in 2016.

Some of the loan charges were recorded after Una McClean, representing herself in court, took a legal action against Mr Howard in the High Court in 2014 to register her interest in three properties: on their home at Larkfield Avenue, one of their Larkfield Park rental properties and on a house in Kilnamanagh, Dublin 24.

The charges were registered two years before Promontoria, a company used by US private equity firm Cerberus, took over Ulster Bank’s loan on property at Larkfield Park and registered its interest in their property.

Another charge was later registered in favour of Dominic Carney, with an address in Blackrock, Cork city, in the amount of €300,000 in September 2017 on one of Mr Howard’s rental properties on Larkfield Park.

Launderette business

Mr Carney also appears to have been involved in the property and launderette businesses. The businessman is a director of a company called Philisview Properties that ran into financial difficulties in 2013 leading to the appointment of a receiver. He was a director of a dissolved company called The Washtub Launderette.

Mr Howard has described himself as a builder, landlord and launderette-owner. He registered a business name, Key Investments (Turkey), that court records say was in the business of importing marble.

He and Una McClean were the subject of court proceedings taken in July 2015 by No 41 Mountjoy Square Management Limited, which was reportedly unhappy with how he was operating and leasing his apartments.

The management company encountered difficulties in serving the legal summons on the couple and ultimately the court action never proceeded, said one source familiar with the legal action.