SF to table bill aimed at ending upward-only rent clauses

SF to table bill aimed at ending upward-only rent clauses

Sinn Féin has submitted a bill which it says is aimed at ending the practice of upward-only rent reviews.

Small and medium enterprises say upward-only rent reviews are strangling small firms and retailers, leading to job losses.

Sinn Féin TD Peadar Tóibín is seeking cross-party support for the bill, which he says is similar to one proposed by the Labour Party which had the support of Fine Gael back in 2009.

"I have submitted a Bill entitled Financial Emergency Measure in the Public Interest (Reviews of Commercial Rents) bill 2012 which empowers the Government to seek a relief from upward-only rents," Deputy Tóibín said.

“The continued operation of upward-only rent clauses, in existing leases, undermines viable businesses and creates unemployment," he added.

"It also has a major impact on Government, as departments pay in excess of €53m per year for property under these types of leases.

“This is one issue that unities all the parties in the Oireachtas. All parties are agreed on the need to reduce costs to doing business and deliver better value to customers."

The Bill, to be tabled in the Dáil on Thursday next, would introduce emergency legislation allowing commercial tenants to trigger a rent review where a downward revision of rent will be provided for.

The move was welcomed by Retail Excellence Ireland (REI), which said upward-only rent reviews were "crippling" tenants.

"While both Fine Gael and the Labour party promised to act on the matter in their pre-election pledges, they ultimately did a u-turn and proved that they are paying lip service to the issue of unemployment in the Irish economy," said REI Chief Executive David Fitzsimons.

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