Nesha’s Flowerland files $30M lawsuit against Giftland Mall for wrongful eviction
- Giftland says allegations ‘totally untrue’
The owner of Nesha’s Flowerland, Yasmin Deonauth has commenced legal proceedings against MCG Investment Inc – the company that owns Giftland Mall – for wrongful eviction and damage to property but the management of the Mall claims that she owes rent and refused to sign a new lease.
Legal documents seen by the News Room revealed that Deonauth is suing the Mall for in excess of $5M for breach of contract, $5M for damages for breach of Statutory duties owed under the Landlord and Tenant Act, $5M for malicious damage to property, $5M for special damages, $5M for aggravated damages and $5M for punitive or exemplary damages.
Deonauth claimed that she entered and signed an agreement with the Mall since June 2015 to rent a portion of the facility and continued to renew said agreement over the years.
The last renewal of the written agreement of tenancy styled a “License Agreement” dated May 24, 2019, however, Deonauth, in her lawsuit against the Mall, stated that from the month of July 2019, “servants and or agents” of the Mall begun to demand that she sign a new agreement which would incorporate an increase in service charges.
The flower shop owner noted that these demands intensified during the months of August and September but she still refused to sign it and as a result, they allegedly threatened to evict her from the premises.
Deonauth, who has been in the involved in the flower business for over 25 years, noted that she continued to pay the initial agreed monthly rent and on September 12, 2019, she paid the sum of $280,000 which constituted rental, services and electrical charges for the month of September – October 2019.
But on October 13, she was informed by one of her employees that she was prevented from entering the premises and that the flower shop was locked up and empty.
Upon arrival at the Mall, Deonauth said she observed that all of her stocks were removed and she was informed by the guard that she has been evicted and that all her stocks, furniture, furnishings and fittings were under a shed not very far away.
The businesswoman claimed that these items were exposed to the elements and most, if not all, were destroyed and she was prevented by the authorities at the Mall from retrieving any of her stocks, furniture, furnishings and fittings.
Deonauth is contending that Giftland Mall violated the contract by refusing to inform her in writing that they were terminating the contract and by accepting her rent for the period September/October.
The contract states that “notwithstanding anything contained herein either party shall be entitled to terminate this license by providing 90 days written notice to the other party.”
Meanwhile, when contacted by the News Room via telephone on Saturday, Chairman of MCG Investment Inc, Roy Beepat said the allegations made by Deonauth is “totally untrue” and that the businesswoman owes the Giftland Mall many months of rent.
Mr Beepat further noted that the businesswoman was not “on any lease” when she was evicted.
“She did not renew her lease,” Mr Beepat said.
During a subsequent interview with the News Room on Saturday at his Turkeyen Office, Mr Beepat said a letter was hand-delivered and an email was sent to Nesha’s Flowerland on the same day of the eviction for them to retrieve their property from the shed but to date, they have not done so.
Mr Beepat noted that the spot once occupied by Nesha’s is now being rented by another company.
“It is not in our interest to work against our concessions. In the course of four years, we’ve had two problems where we’ve evicted people.
“In the case with Nesha’s, they’ve refused to sign their lease. For months, we’ve been after them to sign their lease…eventually after months and months of trying, we were approached for the spot and we gave it to another concession and served them the eviction notice,” the company’s Chairman said.
He further noted that “Giftland Mall has built an enviable reputation and relationship with the 95 different concessions.
“A lot of these concessions are international and we have excellent working relationships. In fact, we are being told that we are very good partners.”
Deonauth is being represented by Mohabir A. Nandlall and Associates.