Lobby groups band together to take on upward-only rents
SOME of the country's leading lobby groups have clubbed together in a bid to revive the flagging battle for an end of upward-only rent reviews in existing contracts.
The group, representing thousands of retailers, SMEs, exporters and industry, said the Government could no longer sit on its hands and 'hide' behind legal advice that had the effect of devastating shops and commercial outlets throughout the country.
The Government came to power promising a change in rental contracts but later said that legal advice prevented it from taking retrospective legal action to abolish the reviews.
The new group claims it has legal advice saying the law can be changed. It wants legislation already tabled by Senator Feargal Quinn and passed in the Seanad to be given the green light by the Government in the Dail.
"Senator Quinn's legislation should be enacted by the Dail and by all means let it be referred by the President to the Supreme Court to test its constitutionality," a spokesman said.
"This at least would end once and for all this blanket ban on changing what is an unjust law.
"Upward-only rent reviews are forcing shops to close. It is devastating entire streets, city and town centres.
"Businesses are struggling because high rents are putting shops under pressure. There's been a recent boost in consumer spend, with positive news on retail sales and employment, but we need the right conditions to achieve a sustainable recovery. High rents which can only go up costs jobs and impedes growth."
The group is made up of a number of organisations including Design & Crafts Council of Ireland; Irish Exporters Association; Irish Hotels Federation; Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association; Retail Excellence Ireland; Retail Ireland; RGDATA; Small Firms' Association.