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Calls for rent probe

THE representative group for the retail industry has called on the new Attorney General, Maire Whelan (right) to investigate the problem of upward-only rent reviews for existing leases.

IBEC-affiliated body Retail Ireland said that a commercial rents assessment board needed to be established, where tenants could seek rent reductions to reflect economic circumstances.

"As it stands, there is no self-correcting mechanism available for inflated commercial rents, said Retail Ireland director Torlach Denihan. "Over the last decade, rent as a percentage of turnover has doubled from 10pc to 20pc for retailers. Upward-only rent reviews have not only contributed to this inflation, but have contributed to the loss of 50,000 jobs in the retail sector since 2008."