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Greedy landlords ruin businesses

With the economic recession, compounded by greed and avarice on the part of some landlords and the relentless increase in annual rates, with last year and this year the exception, many commercial concerns have closed.

Others struggle for financial survival.

The rates on premises are governed by legislation from 1838, 1852 and the Act of 2001.

I understand that the current legal advice is “that existing leases could not be amended but a working group is being considered concerning commercial rates”. I appreciate and thank all concerned for their efforts to ease the strain and pain of the annual rates demand, which has been responsible for sending many ratepayers to an early grave. Likewise with leases.

The more some landlords have, the more they want. Greed is an evil that is fast eating away the heart of the commercial sector in this country.

Some years ago, it was the absentee landlords, until we took to the streets in protest against the unjust demands of these vultures.

Jackboot tactics were employed by absentee landlords, and by the looks of things, some Irish landlords, right across the country, are adopting similar draconian measures. Much covets more.

Regardless how tough times are, it is all take and no give. In such cases, would it be too much to ask landlords to forego a five-year rent to allow the tenant build up financial losses?

Many shops are closing down, due to leases they say “that are forcing them to pay exorbitant rents”.

It doesn’t make sense. What will happen is that these shops close and the next tenant will pay a lower rent.

In an effort to bring some semblance of justice to the commercial sector I call on the Minister for Justice, in his new law reform on commercial rates, to create a mechanism to allow tenants to buy their way out of existing leases — thus preventing further shop closures.

Cllr Noel Collins
Co Cork


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