By James Atkinson

The Supreme Court of New South Wales has ordered a pub operator whose lease was terminated due to unpaid rent and other expenses to pay a total of $442,000 to its former landlord.

The landlord, Kritikos Developments, entered into a lease in June 2010 with Iron Duke Hotel Pty Ltd to operate the pub of the same name in Alexandria, Sydney.

Kritikos took the company and the two guarantors of the lease – Gary Raymond Stewart and Martin Geoffrey Green – to court following repeated breaches of the lease and a Deed of Variation that was signed by the parties in September 2010.

The breaches included failure to pay:

– a bank guarantee of $79,200 (representing four months' rent plus GST) and other instalments required under the lease of $97,483.27;

– land tax of $11,335.35 and management fees of $8,921.50;

– $22,000 in rent owed on June 1, 2011, which followed numerous failures to pay rent on time;

– $1,000 for an insurance excess and $2,467.40 for insurance premium; and

– poker machine use fees of $9,447.73.

The leaseholders also failed to comply with a requirement of Sydney Water to install a back flow containment device, which was subsequently carried out by Kritikos at a cost of $3,181.20, along with various other building works.

Justice Robert McDougall said the "repetition, magnitude and scale" of the breaches showed that the publican had no interest in performing its obligations under the lease, which he declared had been validly terminated by Kritikos.

Justice McDougall ordered Iron Duke Hotel Pty Ltd and the two guarantors, Stewart and Green, to pay $442.336.90 including interest to Kritikos, plus costs.

Stewart and Green did not appear at the hearing and their solicitor advised that they would not be represented, because they had no money.

None of the parties could be contacted for comment.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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