OLD Mutual has approached the High Court seeking a default judgment in the cancellation of a lease agreement between itself and a motor vehicle spares and maintenance firm Puzey and Payne over $334 000 in rent arrears.
BY CHARLES LAITON
The insurance giant has also sought an order to evict Puzey and Payne from Number 64 Rezende Street in Harare over allegations of breaching the lease agreement signed between the two parties sometime in 2013.
Both directors of Puzey and Payne, Elton Mtisi and Charles Nhamo Nyambuya are cited as second and third respondents respectively.
According to the court papers under case number HC12586/15, Puzey and Payne initially entered an appearance to defend notice, but later withdrew the same giving the green light to Old Mutual to apply for a default judgment.
“In terms of a lease agreement signed by the plaintiff (Old Mutual) on 7 January 2014 and by first defendant (Puzey Payne) on December 16 2013, the plaintiff leased to first defendant a certain commercial premises situated at Stand No 14859, situated at No 49 Robson Manyika Avenue, corner Sam Nujoma Street, Harare, for a period of three years commencing on 1 November 2013 and terminating on October 31 2016,” Old Mutual said.
“It was agreed that first defendant would pay rentals to plaintiff monthly in advance without demand or deduction, on or before the first day of each month. The agreed monthly rental amount currently is $11 446, 24 inclusive of VAT thereon.”
The financial services and investment firm also said it was a further term of the agreement that Puzey and Payne would also pay Old Mutual, within seven days of being notified, its proportionate share of the operating costs as defined in clause 6.2 of the agreement, in an amount calculated by Old Mutual based on the ratio of the area of the leased premises to the total floor area of the whole building.
However, Puzey and Payne is alleged to have breached the lease agreement when it failed to pay its monthly rentals and operating costs by the due dates.
“As at December 11 2015 the first defendant was indebted to plaintiff in the total sum of $334 125, 81 made up of rent arrears of $198 914, 56 and operating costs arrears of $135 211, 25,” Old Mutual claimed.
“On December 16 2013, the second and third defendants (Mtisi and Nyambuya) bound themselves as sureties and co-principal debtors with the first defendant . . . Accordingly, each defendant is jointly and severally liable to plaintiff for payment of the amount claimed.”