Posted on

Owner of Exeter’s office building has beef with Ben

Owner of Exeter’s office building has beef with Ben


The New Democratic Party (NDP) candidate for Central Leeward may have an impending legal battle on his hands over the building he uses for his constituency office and for his own private business operations.

In a letter to Ben Exeter, issued by the law firm of Marks and Marks, the owner of the {{more}}building being leased accuses Exeter of being “in breach” of the contract, and demands that he vacate the premises.

The letter, dated September 4, states: “You are hereby given notice to quit and deliver up vacant possession of the premises on or before the 5th day of October, 2015, at that time all outstanding rent and utilities are to be paid in full and the keys to the premises delivered to these Chambers.”

According to the letter, Ben Exeter — on behalf of the NDP’s constituency group — entered into a lease contract with Allenby Gaymes (owner of the property located in Layou) in January 2015.

It is alleged that there was an understanding that the property only be used as a constituency office, and once that was adhered to, a nominal rent of $350 would be charged monthly.

However, upon the death of the original owner (Allenby Gaymes) in March 2015, his daughter Jacinth Gaymes, who is the executrix of the estate, discovered that Exeter was operating his IT consultancy business from the premises as well.

Additionally, it is alleged that he was at the time in arrears of rent — a breach of contract.

The letter further alleges that after enforcing her rights (as stipulated in a clause within the lease contract) of re-entering the property and locking Exeter out, Jacinth Gaymes was later informed that someone had “unlawfully removed the chain and lock” and [Exeter] has since re-occupied the premises.

Speaking with SEARCHLIGHT last night, Exeter denied that there was any stipulation regarding the use of the property in the contract that he had signed.

“I am not in breach of my contract or my lease agreement. I am not,” he insisted.

“The lease does not determine use. There is no specific use in the lease. I’m not in violation of my contract… the lease doesn’t specify any use per se, just office use.”

Exeter offered to make available to SEARCHLIGHT his copy of the lease agreement. However, it was not possible to view it before going to press last night.

In addition to demanding that Exeter vacate the premises, Gaymes is also demanding that he pays all legal and bailiff costs associated with the matter. Failure to do so would result in the matter being pursued in a court of law. (JSV)