Management company loses High Court action over right of access to hotel

An action by a management company representing residents of a South Dublin apartment block over being prevented from directly accessing a hotel in the development has been dismissed by the High Court.

Management company loses High Court action over right of access to hotel

An action by a management company representing residents of a South Dublin apartment block over being prevented from directly accessing a hotel in the development has been dismissed by the High Court.

Beacon One Management Company Ltd sued Beacon Leisure Investments Ltd, which operates the Beacon Hotel in Sandyford Business Park, in Dublin.

Beacon One manages 70 apartments which are in the same unit- Block E in the Beacon Court development but are separate entities to the hotel.

The action was taken over the hotel owners proposals to stop the apartment residents from gaining access to the hotel via interconnecting doors located in the property's corridors.

The defendants, represented by Micheal O'Connell SC, had denied the claims and had argued that it was entitled to take the steps preventing access to its facility.

In his judgment, Mr Justice Senan Allen said the case centred around the interpretation of lease agreements in respect of the apartments but was satisfied that the residents did not have a right of access through the hotel.

In its action, the management company claimed the residents had been able to gain access to the hotel through doors linking the two premises on several floors of the shared unit.

Access had been available for over a decade and many residents pay to use the hotel’s gym, it was claimed.

After the hotel changed ownership in 2016, the new hotel operator was unhappy the residents had free access to the hotel. It gave the residents notice of its intention to stop direct access to the hotel, except in the event of a fire.

As a result, Beacon One sought various orders against the owners including one restraining the defendant from interfering with or restricting the right of way between the two premises.

In his judgement, Mr Justice Allen said that he was satisfied that neither the management company and the owners of the apartments had a general right of access through interconnecting doors between the apartments and the Beacon Court Hotel.

Leases created in respect of the apartments did not create a general right of access through the interconnecting doors, the Judge said.

The Judge said there were no references to the hotel in the apartment leases, and the leases when properly constructed did not confer the right contended for.

The hotel's owner the judge added is entitled to restrict the apartment owners and occupiers use of the interconnecting doors between the apartments and the hotel, to a way of egress, in the event of an emergency, from the apartments over the lobbies and stairwells within the hotel.

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