As campaigns go, you have to admire the chutzpah and clarity of the one illustrated above. The photograph shows a banner unveiled today above Korky’s shoe-shop in Grafton Street in Dublin, a couple of hundred metres from Government buildings. The subject of the banner is one of the most vexed issues in Irish commercial property at present, the imminent introduction of legislation to allow commercial tenants to secure current market rents in leases which presently provide for Upward Only Rent Reviews (UORRs). The property industry is blaming the uncertainty over the new measures for the almost complete elimination of investment transactions at present, tenants are clamouring for the new legislation blaming existing rents, which can be benchmarked with boom-era rents, for threatening their livelihood and that of their employees and neighbourhoods, existing investors are nervous about the financial impact of any changes on the value of their assets and I am willing to bet the government is anything but sure-footed over the cost of the new provisions and the potential for constitutional and other legal challenge.
The latest news on the subject that has been reported, was an article in the Irish Sunday Times in July which claimed to preview the new legislation (the article is not available online without subscription but you can get most of the details in the update at the bottom of this blogpost). There was also a meeting between Minister for Justice and Equality, Alan Shatter and tenant representatives at the start of August, reported in the Sunday Business Post here. The Department of Justice did not offer any comment on the Sunday Times story, but the expectation is that a Bill will be unveiled at the end of September which will set out the proposed legislation. There will be a feature entry on here then.
And if you didn’t know already, Ronan Keating of Boyzone fame was a one-time employee at Korky’s shoe-shop