THE owner of a building on Ellen Street in Limerick city has been ordered not to trespass at the premises after a company which claims it has a lease was granted a temporary injunction.
During an ex-parte application, Maria Lane BL said her client, Seven Imports Limited, has been a tenant at 14 Ellen Street Since 2006 but that on October 4, last the locks were changed by an agent of the owner - preventing her client from gaining access.
“No notice was served on the plaintiff,” she said adding that correspondence with the owner’s solicitor were ignored.
Judge Tom O’Donnell was told the owner of the building - Sean Murray - is based in the UK and that efforts to resolve the matter have proven unsuccessful - resulting in the initiation of legal action.
Documents lodged in support of the application show the plaintiff company, which has a registered address at William Street, entered into a sub-lease arrangement with another company, Smokeless Cigarettes Limited, on November 2014.
Ms Lane said the-five story building and a number of adjacent buildings were bought by the defendant earlier this year and that her client had been informed that “some sort of surrender” had been negotiated with the sub-tenant.
However, in a sworn affidavit a director of Seven Imports Limited stated that Smokeless Cigarettes Limited did not have the authority to surrender the tenancy or to negotiate with the new landlord on its behalf.
Having been served with notice of the interim injunction, which was granted last Wednesday, lawyers for Mr Murray sought to have a stay put on the order.
Making the application on Friday, Ciara Daly BL said the premises at the centre of the dispute is currently empty.
She said her client’s instructions are that the lease (held by Seven Imports) had expired and she told the court the plaintiff company has not occupied the premises for almost a year.
She submitted that her client’s position is that he properly negotiated with the sub-tenant and that the interim injunction should not have been granted.
She added that her client and his agent in Limerick - Ray O’Halloran - were willing to stay away from the premises pending the hearing the case next week.
However, Judge O’Donnell said were he to grant the application, it would negatise the effect of the interim injunction, which he granted based on the information presented to him.
He adjourned the matter to November 3, when an application for interlocutory injunction will be heard.
The judge ordered that the new locks which were installed should be immediately removed by the defendant or his agent.