July 29, 2016, 11:48 a.m.
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Alternative accommodation has been accepted by four of five families living in Lynam’s Hotel in Dublin which has to close on Monday, the High Court heard.
Dublin City Council told the court it had also made an offer to the fifth family but they had to refused to engage. That family had already refused three other offers, the court heard.
The news came as Mr Justice Paul Gilligan said he was not prepared to extend the August 1st leave deadline faced by hotel operator, Thereasa Andreucetti, after it was claimed she would face a loss of €278,000 from rooms bookings made through agents between now and November.
However, receiver Aidan Murphy, who was appointed to take over and sell the hotel arising out of a debt by its former owners to Nama, estimated Ms Andreucetti’s losses at a maximum of €69,289.
This is in the context of between €400,000 and €500,000 being owed in rent arrears by Ms Andreucetti, who has leased the O’Connell Street hotel since 2005, it was claimed.
The receiver needs vacant possession to carry out works on the one-star hotel with a view to putting it on the market in September.
Last April, proceedings taken by Ms Andreucetti to stop the receiver taking over the hotel were settled on the basis that she would hand over vacant possession on August 1st and pay back rent of €20,000 and continue paying rent to Mr Murphy.
However, her counsel Robert Beatty applied to the court on Wednesday for an extension in view of the position of the families currently living in the hotel and because it had been discovered there were a number of bookings through agents which the hotel was contractually obliged to meet.
Anonymous letter
Mr Beatty asked the court to extend until October by which time a full hearing of all matters could take place. His client was willing to continue paying rent and would lodge €60,0000 in court.
Karen Denning BL, for the council, informed the court on Friday arrangements had been made to accommodate four of the families in other city hotels while the fifth family could not be contacted.
A man, who said his name was Raymond Walker, and who wished to act as an amicus curiae (friend to the court) on behalf of the families, said he wanted to hand in a letter from them to the judge. They wished to remain anonymous, he said.
Mr Justice Gilligan said he was not prepared to accept an anonymous letter.
The judge said his main concern had been the position of those families.
However, he had now been informed by the city council that arrangements were in place for them, even though one had already refused three offers of alternative accommodation.
He said Ms Andreucetti had given undertakings in April to vacate in August with the benefit of legal advice.
If he was to accede to an extension, it would mean the entire case going back to square one which in his view was not acceptable.
He said the property will have to be vacated on Monday.