A company which sought High Court protection after its profitable luxury property rental business was dramatically impacted by Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns may face winding up rather than going down the examinership route, a judge has been told.
Period Door Properties Ltd (PDP) rents whole houses in upmarket areas of Dublin from landlords and then sub-lets individual rooms in those properties.
Among 20 properties in places like Ballsbridge, Clontarf, Monkstown, Rathgar and Donnybrook, is one in Crosthwaithe Park South, Dun Laoghaire, whose landlord is Bob Geldof.
On Wednesday, Mr Justice Michael Quinn granted a request from Ken Fogarty SC, for the company, to adjourn the matter to allow for further contact with the firm’s creditors and to fully consider whether examinship is “the best route” for it. Its creditors include Ulster Bank, Revenue and the landlords.
PDP managing director Geoff Hogan said in an affidavit the lockdowns and restriction on people’s movements led to around half of PDP’s sub-tenants moving out, generally to return to their family homes, and some 20 per cent stopping rent payments.
Mr Hogan asked the High Court on June 15 for protection by appointing Andrew Feighery, of CGC Associates accountants, so that a scheme can be arrived at to allow the firm deal with its creditors and ensure its survival as things go back to normal.
PDP’s liabilities exceed its assets by some €3.8m and it is unable to pay its debts as they fall due, according to an independent accountant appointed by the company. However, the accountant also said if court protection is granted it has a reasonable prospect of survival subject to the appointment of the examiner and the cooperation of creditors.
The company says it is owed some €450,000 in unpaid rent and around €200,000 in unpaid utilities payments. Its financial statement shows some €200,000 is due to landlords with around €200,000 due as a result of Residential Tenancies Board orders which are under appeal.
The June 15 examinership petition was refused and adjourned until Wednesday when Mr Justice Quinn adjourned it again to July 15th following a request from Mr Fogarty.
Sally O’Neill, for Revenue, which is a notice party, said the company had indicated a willingness to work with Revenue but in addition her client would be looking for the firm to pay its current taxes when they fall due. Revenue was also seeking its costs.
It may be the company had jumped the gun in seeking examinership and Revenue wanted to reserve its position but it wanted taxes paid as they fall due, she said.
The judge agreed to the stipulations sought by Revenue but said the issue of costs will be for another day.