Director of Education for the Caribbean Union Conference of the Seventh Day Adventists Dr Hilary Brown turned to the High Court for resolution after a woman refused to give up her property in a land swap deal.
The court heard that Dr Brown made a deal with Eudenia Shirley Arrindell of Arnos Vale to exchange her property at the same address for a property at Cane Hall. He owned an acre of land which bordered Ms. Arrindell and was prepared to acquire the adjacent lot which had a house erected on it.
Dr. Brown proceeded to buy the Cane Hall property to which Ms Arrindell agreed she would relocate. Both parties executed a deed of exchange on 1st February 2016 but then the deal turned sour.
Dr Brown attempted to deliver the keys for the Cane Hall property to Ms Arrindell and take possession of the Arnos Vale property, however, Ms. Arrindell failed to vacate said property.
The High Court heard that Ms. Arrindell refused to move until the court enforced the agreement. She finally moved on June 2, 2019 after living at her Arnos Vale property for a further three years.
Things got Worse
After waiting to take up the property, on inspection, the property was in a worse condition than it was on initial valuation. Ms. Arrindell admitted:
“I have a son who misbehaves from time to time. His name is Glenroy. He caused some damage to the house while the case was going on. He break window and mash up some of my drinking glass. He smokes weed. Sometimes when he smoke weed, he gets violent. When he acts up or gets violent, he has caused damage to the house. Some of the damage was done while the case going on. No, he didn’t damage the cupboards as well. When I left the property in June, he went with me.”
For his part, Dr Brown admitted that the property was originally in a state of some disrepair but three years after, he claimed, “The property is now in an appalling condition, I was alarmed, shocked and saddened”.
He further told the court:
“as a result of Ms. Arrindell’s wilful refusal to vacate the Arnos Vale property, his use and enjoyment of the property was delayed from February 3, 2016 to June 2, 2019. This delay prevented him from earning rent as he had intended to use the property to generate an income”.
His plan was to rent the property for $1200 monthly after doing repairs.
“the defendant’s delay in handing the Arnos Vale property over to me caused me very serious inconvenience, in that to be able to afford to purchase the Cane Hall property, I refinanced a loan that I had with the Bank of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. It was my intention to utilise any rental income that I would have received from the Arnos Vale property towards my liability to the Bank”.
The court in a recent ruling decided that Ms Arrindell should pay Dr Brown damages for loss of use and enjoyment in the sum of $46,800.002; Damages for deterioration/diminution in value of the property in the sum of $42,000; Incidental expenses in the sum of $750.00; Travel expenses in the sum of $6667.49 for travelling between Trinidad and Tobago and St. Vincent to attend court cases and further prescribed costs on the global award in the sum of $14,432.62.