SOCIETY House Development Company Limited has dragged BMB Merchants Limited, trading as Melrose Inn Restaurant to the Lusaka High Court, seeking payment of over K479,000 for rentals due to it.

Society House Development is seeking an order that Melrose Inn Restaurant pays it K479,338.35 being rent due to it as at July 9, 2020, in respect of the premises known as shop number G033 Society Business Park, Lusaka.

It is further demanding payment of K14,387.74 being utility charges as of July 9, 2020, interest on the sums above and any other relief the Court may deem fit.

According to an affidavit in support of originating notice of motion filed in the Lusaka High Court, Edward Kunda, a finance manager at Society House Development stated that on May 1, 2018, the applicant entered into a lease agreement with the respondent for the possession and occupancy of shop number G033 at Society Business Park.

He stated that pursuant to the lease agreement, the respondent agreed to occupy the premises for purposes of operating a restaurant.

Kunda stated that although the said lease was not registered at the Lands and Deeds Registry, Melrose agreed that it would, throughout the term of its occupation and use of the premises, be liable to pay an agreed monthly rental, property expenses, marketing fund and utility charges.

He stated that notwithstanding, Melrose Inn having taken occupation and use of the demised premises, it had refused, neglected and ignored its obligations to pay the agreed monthly rental, property expenses, marketing fund and utility charges.

Kunda added that as a result of Melrose Inn’s failure to observe its financial obligations, Society House wrote a series of letters to it demanding payment of the rental arrears.

He, however, stated that Melrose had continued to unjustifiably refuse, fail or neglect to settle its rental arrears and other charges.

Kunda stated that the restaurant had, however, in the meantime continued to use and occupy the premises since May 1, 2018 to-date.

“That there is, therefore, outstanding from the respondent the sum of K479,338.35 in respect of rent as at July 9, 2020. In addition to the outstanding rentals, the respondent is also indebted to the applicant in the sum of K14,387.74 in respect of utility charges for the demised premises,” read the documents.