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Dunnes victory as judge chops rent by a third

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Dunnes Stores, Exchequer St

Dunnes Stores, Exchequer St

Dunnes Stores, Exchequer St

THE decision to slash Dunnes Stores rental price by 35pc has been welcomed by business groups as a positive move to "curtail the madness".

The retail giant secured a cut in rental prices for its George's Street property from a Circuit Civil Court yesterday.

Judge Jacqueline Linnane said that the supermarket chain was entitled to its own reduction and slashed the amount of rent Dunnes was paying.

Decline

"The economy is in recession, there is a high rate of unemployment and there has been a fall in retail sales and a decline in consumer spending," Judge Linnane said.

Dunnes Stores Dublin will now pay 35pc less to Layden Properties George's Street Ltd for 10,500 square feet of retail floor space in the 125-year-old listed building it also uses as a head office.

ISME chief Mark Fielding said that it is a positive step in the battle to renegotiate rent prices for businesses.

"It seems as if the courts are at long last copping on to the fact that businesses cannot afford the Celtic Tiger rents that have been foisted on them," he told the Herald.

"Any move to curtail the madness in the rental prices is welcomed. Landlords themselves are under the pressure from the banks and insurance companies but we would welcome it, obviously, if it is setting a precedent."

However, the representative for small and medium businesses lashed out at Government bodies who have failed to step up and take action on this issue.

"There is still a long way to go," he said.

Tackle

"I would have numerous cases of smaller businesses – that would be nothing like the likes of Dunnes Stores – and are unable to meet the rent. They don't have the wherewithal to take a High Court case.

"With the Government chickening out on their promise to tackle upward only rent reviews – which they promised to do in their programme for Government – it is good that the courts are taking charge.

"The Government has instead scurried into the corner and said that they can't tackle upward-only rent reviews."

The review reduces the pre-existing rate for the retail area of €50 per square foot by 35pc to €32.50 per square foot.

hnews@herald.ie


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