Liffey Valley landlord and TGI Friday restaurant in rent and lease dispute
Posted on 13th December 2021 at 20:17
Dispute has been accepted on to the fast-track Commercial Court list
The operators of a TGI Friday restaurant and the landlords of Dublin’s Liffey Valley Shopping Centre are in dispute over the forfeiture of the restaurant’s lease following the non-payment of rent during the pandemic, the Commercial Court has heard.
Tercina Liffey Ltd has operated the restaurant from Unit 5 of the shopping centre since entering into a lease with the landlords, BVK Elektra 2 Liffey Valley Phase 1 Icav, in 2016.
Tercina claimed it was entitled to invoke a “rent cessor” provision of the lease in circumstances where it was entitled, because of government regulation, not to keep the premises open.
The landlord says the restaurant failed to keep the business open in accordance with its lease during periods when it was permitted to do so under Covid regulations.
The restaurant ceased trading on March 15th last year and did not resume at any time until September last, when the landlord took possession of the premises. The landlord contended the restaurant had been in a position to trade since June of last year. No rent payments were made after January 6th, 2020, the landlord says.
In September 2020 the landlord used the rent deposit of €76,635 against the then rent arrears at that point, reducing the amount owed at that stage to about €59,000. Some €328,000 was due in rent, service charges and insurance contributions as of July 1st, the landlord claims.
In August, it served a forfeiture notice on the restaurant operators, and the next month took the premises back.
Tercina Liffey then brought High Court proceedings against the landlord claiming, among other things, that no money was owed, that it was entitled to close and that it had suffered loss and damage, including the loss of the fit-out of the premises worth €1.75 million.
The landlord denies the claims and has counterclaimed that the rent cessor provision did not apply, that there was a failure to pay rent and that Tercina was in a position to keep the restaurant open between June 29th, 2020, and September 8th last, when it was repossessed.
On Monday, Mr Justice Denis McDonald entered the case, on the application of the landlord and on consent between the parties, to the fast-track commercial list and approved directions for how it was to proceed.
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