Retailers: Govt must reform lease law to protect jobs

Retail Ireland have written to the minister for Justice Dermot Ahern to call for a reform of the law related to leases.

Retail Ireland director Torlach Denihan said: "Retail Ireland has asked that he build on his decision to abolish upward-only rent review clauses by undertaking a fundamental reform of the law relating to leases. This reform is urgently needed to save jobs and respond to the unprecedented economic crisis affecting retailers.

"Rents are a huge component of the retail cost base but are almost impossible to reduce. Some landlords have successfully sought or are currently seeking very substantial rent increases under upward-only rent review clauses. Many tenants face rent increases of anything between a third and double at a time when their sales have suffered a huge drop. Arbitrators' hands are tied by current lease provisions.

"The most recent example of landlords seeking large rent increases that we have heard of is Carphone Warehouse in Cork. 3G Mobile Retail said that its decision to liquidate the business was due to extremely high rents and inflexible leases. A similar problem was evident in the case of Carluccio's Restaurant but was averted at the last minute due to constructive engagement between landlord and tenant.

The group wants arbitrators to take account of prevailing economic and commercial conditions when reviewing rents and for landlords to disclose all information to arbitrators when seeking a comparison-based upward rent review.

They also want turnover-related reviews instead of upward-only rent review clauses in existing leases and the power to insert break clauses where a tenant's business has deteriorated due to circumstances outside the tenant's control.

More in this Section

Govt will come down on banks profiting from pandemic 'like a ton of bricks'Govt will come down on banks profiting from pandemic 'like a ton of bricks'

Wholesale energy prices rise 14% in June as Covid-19 restrictions easeWholesale energy prices rise 14% in June as Covid-19 restrictions ease

Boots to cut more than 4,000 jobs in UK after Covid-19 hammers salesBoots to cut more than 4,000 jobs in UK after Covid-19 hammers sales

1,300 jobs at risk as John Lewis permanently shuts eight stores in Britain1,300 jobs at risk as John Lewis permanently shuts eight stores in Britain


Lifestyle

Is there a natural treatment I could use instead of steroids and antibiotic drops for dry eye?Natural health: I suffer from chronic dry eye

Denise O’Donoghue checks in with several expats affected by the cancellation of shows in BritainIrish actors on the crisis the West End theatre industry faces

This month marks four decades since the release of the classic record that would also be Ian Curtis’s final album with Joy Division. Ed Power chats to a number of Cork music fans about what it meant to themJoy Division: Forty years on from 'Closer'

Last week, I shared my lockdown experience. I asked for a more uniform approach, should there be another lockdown. I explained that I worked mornings. Maybe I should have been more specific: working 8am to 1pm without a break, I gave feedback and covered the curriculum, using our school’s online platform. In the afternoons, I looked after my three kids (all under ten) while my husband worked. It was a challenging time for everyone and the uncertainty around what I should have been doing as a teacher made it harder.Diary of an Irish teacher: I want to get back to work. But I would like to do it safely

More From The Irish Examiner