Bewleys rent row ends up in High Court
A ROW over the rent on Bewleys cafe in Dublin's Grafton Street has ended up in the High Court.
Bewleys rents the premises from Ickendel Ltd, part of the Treasury Holdings Group, which is now in liquidation and all its loans transferred to NAMA.
At issue is the €1.5m annual rent set several years ago with built-in five-year reviews. The case is regarded as a test in the contentious area of upward-only rent review lease agreements.
Bewleys says the issue could not be of more vital importance to its financial survival and it contends the lease allows rents to fall as well as rise.
But Ickendel Ltd argues that rents cannot fall under the terms of the decades-old agreement.
Mr Justice Peter Charleton yesterday heard legal submissions on the matter and will give judgment at a later date.
The case hinges on the interpretation of a key clause in the lease agreement, which dates back to August 1987.
Ickendel Ltd seeks a declaration that the terms of the lease mean that the rents cannot be reduced after any review.
Bewleys say that, on review, rents cannot be reduced below the initial rent, but otherwise can fluctuate.