$125K let-off for Queenstown business

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A court tussle over Queenstown’s Caples Court Motel has seen the landlord let a former tenant-operator off a $125,670 debt.

According to a recent High Court judgment, former tenant company Caples Court Motel 2007 owes landlord Terminus Restaurant & Bar $115,859 in unpaid rent, outgoings and penalty interest – plus $9810 in legal costs.

The judgment also cancels the lease and legally returns the property to Terminus.

Terminus is co-owned by Dunedin realtor Lincoln Darling.

Caples Court Motel 2007 – which judge David Gendall calls “the defaulting lessee operator” – is owned and directed by Scott and Sonya Ford.

After failing to respond to a Property Law Act notice in April, the Ford firm also filed no opposition or defence to the Terminus legal action, the judge noted.

Despite the $125,670 award, Darling tells Mountain Scene his company won’t be pursuing the debt.

“No, we actually let them off,” Darling says, adding: “All that we wanted was possession of the property.”

Darling says new motel operators have now taken over running Caples Court in Stanley Street.

Mountain Scene also understands Darling’s company bought the former operator’s chattels from their bank. 

Contacted this week, Sonya Ford tells Mountain Scene she and her husband Scott will not be commenting.