Sale Drama at Piers Court Continues

The Daily Mail has reported the outcome of legal proceedings to order sitting tenants at Piers Court to vacate the premises so that new buyer can take possession. See earlier posts for details of the auction sale that took place late last year. The Mail also reveals the identity of the new  owner who bought the property at the auction. After serving three notices to the sitting tenants to vacate the premises, the new owner filed proceedings for a court order. According to the Mail:

Two Evelyn Waugh superfans who have been refusing to leave the literary giant’s £3m country mansion have just 15 days to get out after losing a court battle with the new owner, we can reveal. Bechara Madi and his partner Helen Lawton, a life-long Waugh enthusiast, have been digging their heels in and refusing to budge from the Grade II-listed 18th century Cotswolds property they have called home for the past four years.

MailOnline can reveal that the new proprietor is a Brazilian socialite by the name of Vanessa Valerie Gomes De Bustamante Sa who bought the sprawling, eight-bedroom house where the novelist penned works such as Men at Arms, Officers and Gentlemen and Brideshead Revisited [sic] at auction for £3.16million last December – but she has been unable to get access to it for the past seven months…

On June 8, a judge at Gloucestershire County Court ordered the [sitting tenants] to leave the house within 28 days – or face the bailiffs. He also ordered Mr Madi [one of the sitting tenants] to pay the new owner costs of almost £18,000. This was despite Mr Madi claiming to have paid a £250,000 deposit for the house and a further £250,000 repairing and maintaining it. Mr Madi said he was unable to afford legal representation and that he and his wife had been left penniless. He told the court: ‘It’s not a great position to be in.’

As noted in previous posts, the sitting tenants took the position that their rights to remain under their lease with the previous owner were superior to those of a buyer at the auction sale:

But the auction went ahead. With a starting price of £2.5m, the hammer eventually fell at £3.16m, with Ms [Vanessa] Gomes De Bustamante Sa outbidding three other interested parties. The [Brazilian] daughter of a surgeon, she has lived in London for more than a decade during which time she has been photographed at a string of society events including the polo, gallery openings and fashion shows. She also runs a company called the Conscious Kitchen Club – which hosts children’s parties with a difference. Rather than featuring cake and Coca-Cola, the young guests are instead taught to cook healthy, nutritious food such as spinach and pomegranate salads and avocado on toast. Precisely what plans Ms Gomes De Bustamante Sa has in store for Piers Court remains unclear. She declined to comment when approached by MailOnline.

The story in the Mail online edition includes several new photos, primarily relating to the new owner. It also repeats certain misstatements such as that Waugh wrote Brideshead Revisited while living at Piers Court and misidentifies a 16-year old Auberon Herbert as Evelyn Waugh in a wedding photo. These have been discussed in previous posts.


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